Delhi covered with thick haze, air quality in 'severe' category; schools shut, GRAP 4 kicks in
The Centre's Stage IV of GRAP was invoked in Delhi and its adjoining areas in the national capital region (NCR) on Sunday (November 5) in view of the worsening air quality. This is the fourth consecutive day that the national capital recorded a 'severe' air quality.
Delhi continues to be covered in thick haze as the air quality remains in the 'severe' category, data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) showed on Monday. The national capital has had "severe" air quality for the past four days in a row. According to CPCB statistics, at 7 am, the majority of monitoring stations in Delhi reported an air quality index (AQI) of more than 400.
Some of the worst-affected areas in the national capital include RK Puram (466), ITO (402), Patparganj (471), and New Moti Bagh (488).
The national capital region (NCR) and the capital were placed under Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) by the Centre on Sunday due to the worsening air quality in Delhi. The final stage of the anti-pollution plan is activated at least three days before the AQI exceeds the 450 mark in Delhi. However, proactive implementation could not take place this time.
Stubble burning continues to be the leading cause of air pollution in Delhi-NCR. This season, Punjab has reported 17,403 incidences of stubble burning; 13,617 (or 78%) of those cases have occurred in the last eight days. A record 3,230 agricultural fire incidents were reported in Punjab on Sunday alone, with 109 incidences registered in Haryana.
Due to the declining quality of the air, the Delhi government issued an order on Sunday stating that all elementary schools in the city will remain closed till November 10. Atishi, the head of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and minister of education for Delhi, made the statement on X. Schools now have the option to hold lessons in an online format for grades 6 through 12.
In the Delhi-NCR, the last phase of the Centre's anti-pollution strategy has been activated. This involves a number of limitations, including the inability of non-essential trucks to operate in Delhi, the prohibition on construction activities (including public projects), and the need that 50% of employees in both public and private workplaces work from home.
Noida and Gurugram, which fall under the NCR, have also been witnessing 'severe' air quality since Friday (November 3).