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Delhi panic over toxic air ahead of Indian festival Diwali

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Delhi's Air Quality On The Brink Of Turning'Severe, Say Authorities

Warning that the high level of moisture in Delhi's atmosphere and a fall in temperature and upper winds from stubble burning sites will "adversely impact air quality", the report said "AQI will touch the upper level of very poor from November 5 afternoon onwards" as per the SAFAR-forecasting model.

The air quality is expected to worsen in the coming days due to the use of firecrackers, experts have warned.

Officials had said that the haze will continue to persist during the early mornings and late evenings for the next few days.

"We have quality filters in place because of which all our classrooms receive treated fresh air throughout the working hours and a professional team is monitoring this", said Deepa Kumar, principal, Heritage Xperiential Learning School, Gurgaon. Meanwhile, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh has slammed Arvind Kejriwal's assertion that stubble burning in Punjab is leading to pollution crisis in Delhi.

The air quality in Anand Vihar area in the national Capital recorded PM2.5 349 and PM10 level was said to be at 328.

Air pollution is the fourth biggest threat to public health in the United Kingdom, after cancer, obesity and heart disease.

The measures imposed in the national capital to check pollution have led to a slight improvement in air quality which continued to remain in the lower limit of "very poor" category. This is part of the Graded Response Action Plan, which came into effect on Oct 15, to tackle the deteriorating pollution levels in the city.

The residents of Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) have been advised to avoid all outdoor activities, keep medicines handy in case of respiratory diseases and curb the use of private cars and two-wheelers.

Moreover, a decrease of 30% in stubble burning compared to past year and the strict pollution control actions by authorities across NCR have also helped in this improvement.

All municipal corporations (MCDs), Public Works Department (PWD) and Delhi Fire Service will sprinkle water from high-rise buildings after Diwali on Wednesday, a Delhi government statement said.

The city's Air Quality Index (AQI) is already at the brink of slipping into the "severe" category.

An official said that the EPCA is even considering regulating use of private vehicles in the wake of an alarming rise in air pollution in Delhi.

Scaling up WHO's own Air Pollution programme, globally, regionally and in countries, including through establishment of a Trust Fund with other partners on climate, environment and health, which could access climate and environment finance directly.

All construction activities involving excavation in Delhi-NCR have been paused with civil construction being suspended, and all stone crushers and hot mix plants that generates dust pollution have been closed for the time being.

An aggressive ten-day-long "Clean Air Campaign" from November 1 to 10 has been launched by Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan to monitor and report polluting activities as well as to ensure quick action.

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