Visuals from Rajpath
Visuals from Rajpath

Smog, haze drenched Delhi to be doused in artificial rain

ANI | Updated: Nov 20, 2018 10:55 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 20 (ANI): The national capital is once again heading towards the worst time of the year, where the region's notoriously substandard air quality becomes even more pernicious. Sulfur Oxides, dut and soot are a growing threat for lakhs of people residing in Delhi.
According to Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), Delhi remained wrapped under the thick blanket of smog and dust on Tuesday as air quality in scores of areas across the city remained in 'very poor' category. The overall air quality index of the national capital has been docked at 333 on Tuesday morning.
At Lodhi road, the AQI (Air Quality Index) was 315 with PM (Particulate Matter) 2.5 at 9:15 am. In the Wazirpur area, the air quality also dipped to the severe category with 400. Also in capital's famous locality Mathura road which also has Purana Qila, the AQI fell to 344 with PM 2.5.
The India Meteorological Department has predicted that the weather in Delhi will mostly be hazy sunshine accompanied by smoke, with highs and lows reaching 29 Degree Celsius and 13 Degrees Celsius respectively.
"Air quality is very poor and expected to remain in the same category with small fluctuations without any significant deterioration. Surface wind speed increased and favorable for dispersion. Humidity is still high which is unfavorable. Fire counts from stubble burning declined and will have a marginal impact, " SAFAR added.
Taking cognizance of the prevailing situation, Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change told ANI that if the situation gets worse, the Centre will roll out a notification to induce artificial rain over Delhi. It is believed that such practice will wash away toxic pollutants from the atmosphere and provide people some respite from the poor air quality.
"Increasing menace of air pollution is a big concern for a developing country like India. The Centre has decided that if the air quality will cross 500 mark then they will ask authorities to induce artificial rain or cloud seeding over the capital. Our scientists and authorities are working round the clock to curb this. All requisite preparations for artificial rains are underway," he said.
If one looks closely, Delhi which is home to approx 19 million people is reeling under the menace of air pollution from the past couple of years. The region faced a major air quality crisis last year as the literally off-the-charts pollution forced shutdown of schools, traffic snarls, caused road accidents and sparked protests. Not only that, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also described capital as a gas chamber and the local administration declared a public health emergency.(ANI)