Air Quality Plunges In Delhi As City Chokes In Dump Yard Fire

22/04/2016 9:09 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Hindustan Times via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 21: Firemen trying to douse fire at Delhi's largest landfill Bhalswa dump yard due to soaring temperature on April 21, 2016 in New Delhi, India. A large cloud of smoke was emanating from the landfill as fire tenders were dousing the fire. The 40 acre-wide trash mountain, receives about 2,700 tonnes of garbage per day. The dump yard receives garbage from no less than 50 per cent of Delhi's population, including Civil Lines, Jahangirpuri, Model Town, Kirti Nagar and even old Delhi's Chandni Chowk. (Photo by Ravi Choudhary/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Delhi's air quality plunged on Friday with monitoring stations recording a spike in the level of respirable as well as gaseous pollutants coming as it did into a week of the odd-even scheme's second phase.

The spike comes against the backdrop of simmering fire at landfill sites such as Bhalswa. The Delhi government has formed a four-member committee to probe the incidents of fire at Bhalswa, Ghazipur and Raj Ghat areas.

Notwithstanding AAP's attempts to describe the flames as "sabotage" attempts by the BJP to derail the road-rationing measure, pollution officials said sufficient data was not available to correlate fire and pollution.

According to SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research), the eight-hour average of surface-level ozone touched 60 parts per billion (ppb). The rise comes after three days of relative stability.

Even PM 2.5, that cause harm to the respiratory system on prolonged exposure, steadily rose through the day from around 70 micrograms per cubic metre to 94 micrograms per cubic metre.

SAFAR's eight stations recorded air quality mostly in the 'poor' category around 7 PM. Although the IGI station had an air quality index of 'very poor' which results in respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.

Delhi Pollution Control Committee's Civil Lines monitoring station had PM 2.5 and PM 10 at 261.90 and 353.26 micrograms per cubic metre around 6.30 PM. Their corresponding safe limits are 60 and 100 respectively.

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