Delhi has become the most polluted city in the world with an Air Quality Index (AQI) reading at 527. According to the report presented by the private weather forecasting agency Skymet Kolkata and Mumbai is also there on the list as the fifth and ninth most polluted cities, with the Air Quality Indexes at 161 and 153 respectively.
The alarming revelations from Skymet, come just two weeks after a real time air quality ranking report by IQ Air Visual, which has also declared the national capital of India as the world’s most polluted city.
Seeing the severity of the crisis the Environment Pollution Control & Prevention Authority (EPCA) this week ordered schools and all kind of industries that are not running on clean fuels, to shut down for next two days.
The report of the weather agency Skymet was published on Friday, also said that the Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital had become so dangerous that it is ‘hazardous’ for the past nine days, the longest such spell since AQI started to maintain record.
The Skymet report also revealed the poor air quality levels at various places in and around Delhi, including the upscale Lodhi Road area, which has an AQI of 660 and Faridabad, which has an AQI of 708 among other areas.
According to AQI scale, an AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is considered satisfactory, 101-200 moderately satisfactory, 201-300 poor, 301-400 is considered very poor and 401-500 is marked as severe or hazardous.
The air quality in Delhi and its surrounding areas has deteriorated increasingly since the Diwali weekend, leaving the city covered in a thick fog of poisonous fog. The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has repeatedly blamed the burning of stubble in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana for enhancing the problem. Last month Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also said that Delhi has become a ‘Gas Chamber’.
The Supreme Court has also ordered all the affected state governments and the centre to work together to address the growing problem, saying Delhi is suffering badly because of the rising pollution levels.
The AAP government has re-introduced the ‘odd-even’ scheme of road rotationing of vehicles from November 4 to November 15 in the state, but the Supreme Court has questioned the efficacy of the initiative. The other cities on the recent list of Skymet are from Pakistan, China, Nepal and Vietnam.