According to The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) this sharp increase in air pollution levels in Delhi is mainly attributed to agricultural burning activities in neighbouring states.
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) on Sunday urged people to curtail outside exposure and try to work from home in view of the hazardous pollution levels in the national capital, PTI reports.
Pollution levels in Delhi peaked to a three-year high on Sunday as hundreds of people took to social media expressing their willingness to leave the city, while a group of environmentalists wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking prompt action.
According to the research institute, this sharp increase in air pollution levels in Delhi is mainly attributed to agricultural burning activities in neighbouring states, besides adverse meteorological conditions. In order to prevent exposure to severe pollution that can have a harmful impact on health, TERI has advised to avoid non-essential exposure to the air.
It also appealed to organisations to allow its employees remote modes of working and parents to cut outside exposure time for their children.
TERI Director General Ajay Mathur said that along with year-round sources of pollutants, agricultural burning is a prime contributor in the severe deterioration of air quality in Delhi these days. “Large number of fire cases in the upwind states were detected between October 26 and October 30, which are now, after the transport of the pollutants through atmospheric winds, adversely affecting the air quality in Delhi,” he said. “In order to avoid exposure to the air, non-essential commute should be curtailed. Public and private organisations in the Delhi-NCR should allow employees to work from their homes,” he added.
All schools in the Delhi-NCR have been closed till Tuesday.
TERI in a statement said that according to its analysis based on all monitoring stations in the city, the average PM2.5 levels in the last 15 days show a steady increase that can be directly attributed to growing number of fire incidents detected in a region upwind of Delhi. “The levels reached extremely high in the last few days breaching the severe plus category, with some locations showing up daytime hourly PM2.5 values more than 1,000 microgram/m3, pointing towards emergency conditions,” it said.