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The air quality of Delhi has increased the number of people suffering from respiratory problems. Flickr

With the sharp increase in air pollution in the national capital, several public health experts have flagged a rise in the number of patients reporting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.

The air pollution reaches a crescendo in Delhi and surrounding regions every winter, when pollution from stubble burning combines with the suspended water droplets in the lower atmosphere to form a thick blanket of noxious smog, thus creating health hazards.


The city’s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) stood at 249, which falls in the ‘poor’ category. The System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research categorizes air quality in the 0-50 range as good, 51-100 as satisfactory, 101-200 as moderate, 201-300 as poor, 301-400 as very poor, and above 400 as severe.

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Delhi-based doctor Shuchin Bajaj said, “With the onset of winter and stubble burning in the surrounding states, the COPD and asthma cases are both starting to rise. It has now become all the more important to protect us from Covid-19. When your lungs are compromised and weak, you have more chances of developing complications like pneumonia during Covid.”

The Internal Medicines specialist at Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals further urged people to take care of ‘SMS’ — social distancing, mask, and sanitization more so in the coming days. The Disaster Management has cautioned that Delhi will be seeing 15,000 cases per day in winters. So, please eat healthy, exercise, and follow SMS.”


Avoiding strenuous outdoor exercise during peak pollution hours is also beneficial. For people with chronic lung diseases, it is very important to be compliant with their treatment. Unsplash

Another doctor flagged the increase in respiratory-related cases. Dr. Arunesh Kumar, senior consultant, and head of respiratory medicine and pulmonology in the Paras Hospital said, “We are seeing a surge in patients with worsening chest symptoms coming to the pulmonology OPD. It is important to seek medical opinion if you notice worsening of chest symptoms. Get your pneumonia and flu vaccine if you have been advised to have one this winter.”

He added, “Wearing a face mask is the single most effective way of keeping one safe from Covid-19 as well as pollution this winter. Avoiding strenuous outdoor exercise during peak pollution hours is also beneficial. For people with chronic lung diseases, it is very important to be compliant with their treatment.”

Dr. Piyush Goel, pulmonology and critical care at the Columbia Asia Hospital said, “The government should ensure policy measures to prevent pollution — no stubble burning should be allowed, vehicular pollution should be avoided, and construction protocols should be followed. Besides, we must recognize that it is a collective responsibility of people to work together to defeat both Covid-19 and pollution.”

As per the Central Pollution Control Board, out of 35 pollution monitoring stations, the air quality index in as many as 27 stations is in the poor category, while four stations recorded the index in the moderate category, four remained non-functional.

Vivek Vihar in Delhi eastern district recorded the highest AQI at 332, followed by 301 by the pollution monitoring station at northwest Delhi’s Jahangirpuri. The area near Delhi Technical University recorded 296 AQI.


The air pollution reaches a crescendo in Delhi and surrounding regions every winter when pollution from stubble burning combines with the suspended water droplets in the lower atmosphere to form a thick blanket of noxious smog. Pinterest

Delhi’s neighboring areas, including Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Meerut, and Gurugram have also recorded poor quality of air. Ghaziabad and Greater Noida’s air is currently the most polluted amongst all.

According to the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), which comes under the aegis of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, the improvement in air quality is forecasted. It is forecasted to marginally improve to the lower end of poor to the high-end moderate category for tomorrow and further betterment is expected by October 14.

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“Though stubble burning fires observed yesterday around Punjab, Haryana, and neighboring border regions with SAFAR synergized fire count estimated as 614 on 11th October but the count is nearly one eight of the peak values observed in the last two years,” the air quality system added.

It added, “The peak fire count and impact are expected by the first week of November. Delhi AQI with marginal stubble contribution in PM2.5 is estimated at three percent on 12th October. It is likely to reduce by 13th due to changes in wind direction.” (IANS)


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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Killer Smog in Delhi.

Developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, a Decision Support System (DSS) that extends the ability of the existing air quality early warning system (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR was launched on Tuesday.

The website for the DSS (https://ews.tropmet.res.in/dss/) is designed to help the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) by delivering quantitative information about the contribution of emissions from Delhi and its 19 surrounding districts; the contribution of emissions from eight different sectors in Delhi; and the contribution from biomass-burning activities in the neighbouring states.

These information would assist in managing the air quality in a timely manner, a release from the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.

The need was stated by the CAQM, which was formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, during a meeting held in January 2021.

Recently, the Commission reviewed the progress made by IITM and had in principle approved the current version of DSS for air quality management in the Delhi-NCR. The IITM has also developed a new website for DSS with the entire system made operational, the release said.

Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while launching the website for AQEWS on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' week organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "DSS is a significant contribution to 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' on behalf of MoES and IITM and suggestions are invited on this issue."

The website also has a feature whereby the users can create their own emission reduction scenarios (from 20 different districts, including Delhi) so as to examine the possible projected improvement in air quality in Delhi for the next five days.

"This information would explicitly highlight the most important emission sources responsible for the degradation of air quality in Delhi and suggest possible solutions to ameliorate the same. With a plethora of quantitative data, the AQEWS integrated with DSS could become a user-friendly tool for air-quality management in and around Delhi," the release said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, India, Pollution, IITM, Ministry of Earth Sciences


Photo by GOI.

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020. Apart from senior RSS leader Suresh Soni, representatives of various organisations associated with the Sangh Parivar -- working in the field of education -- were present in the meeting in New Delhi.

According to sources, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who attended the meeting on behalf of the government, shared information related to the National Education Policy-2020 and the government's policy on important issues related to the education sector. Pradhan also shared details of the efforts being made by the government in the field of education.

Discussions were also held regarding the impact of the situation arising out of Corona and how much it has affected the education sector. In the meeting, the RSS leaders asked several questions and provided suggestions to the Union Minister regarding the education policy of the government.

According to the sources, RSS wants the policy to be implemented expeditiously. All aspects related to the policy were discussed in Tuesday's meeting. On the second and the last day of the meeting on Wednesday, special issues related to education will be discussed in which representatives of various organisations of the Sangh, Union Ministers and several BJP leaders will be take part.

Meanwhile, in order to convey its point of view to the government on various issues, the Sangh keeps on calling such coordination meetings related to specific issues, in which RSS representatives -- working in that particular area -- provide feedback to the government. (IANS/JB)


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