Delhi air quality slipped to ‘very poor’ on Thursday a day after the AQI had improved to the ‘poor’ category.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital was at 302 –‘very poor’– at 8 am, according to the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality forecast agency SAFAR. Readings below 50 are considered safe, while anything above 300 is considered hazardous or ‘severe’.
Delhi’s air quality in November was the worst in seven years, data showed. The air became worse after Diwali on November 4 as people violated a ban on bursting firecrackers while the pollution compounded due to an increase in stubble burning by farmers in areas adjoining the national capital.
Delhi this morning was the world’s third most polluted city with an AQI of 208, said IQAir, a website that tracks air quality worldwide. Kolkata was the only other Indian city on the list at the eighth spot with an AQI of 167.
Preliminary data from a month-long experiment has shown that indoor air pollution levels were nearly half of the outdoor levels in Delhi-NCR during November-December so far.
Air pollution costs Indian businesses $95 billion or roughly 3 per cent of its GDP every year, according to U.K.-based non-profit Clean Air Fund and the Confederation of Indian Industry, Bloomberg has reported.
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