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Delhi's Air Quality Crisis: School Break Rescheduled, Cloud Seeding Considered, Ban on App-Based Cabs, Stubble Burning Crackdown

Delhi grapples with 'severe' air quality, prompting a rescheduled school break, discussions on artificial rainfall, and stringent measures against stubble burning, while open burning and construction waste contribute to the escalating pollution crisis.

Shivangi Rai
Delhi's AQI plummeted to the 'severe' category on Wednesday. (Image Courtesy- Twitter)
Delhi's AQI plummeted to the 'severe' category on Wednesday. (Image Courtesy- Twitter)

Delhiites woke up to yet another day of hazardous air as the Central Pollution Control Board reported the air quality to be in the 'severe' category on Thursday morning.

Responding to the escalating crisis, the Delhi government decided to reschedule the winter break for all schools, moving it up to November 9 to November 18.

Attempting to tackle the severe air pollution, Delhi's Environment Minister, Gopal Rai, engaged in discussions with a team from IIT Kanpur. The focus of the conversation was on the potential implementation of artificial rainfall through cloud seeding to alleviate the high Air Quality Index (AQI) in the city. He stated that if the weather allows, artificial rain could be employed in Delhi on November 20-21.

Simultaneously, the Haryana government took strict measures against stubble burning, issuing 1,256 challans, imposing fines exceeding Rs 32 lakh, and filing 72 FIRs to curb the practice.

As the air quality in Delhi plummeted to the 'severe' category on Wednesday, recording a 24-hour average AQI of 426, Delhi Mayor Shelly Oberoi identified open burning of garbage, dumping of construction waste, and the use of tandoors in restaurants as major contributors to the escalating air pollution.

Furthermore, the Delhi government, acknowledging the severity of the situation, declared an early winter break for schools from November 9 to 18.

The primary culprit for the deteriorating air quality in the national capital was identified as smoke from post-harvest paddy straw burning in neighbouring states, accounting for over one-third of the air pollution.

The situation calls for urgent and comprehensive measures to address the various sources of pollution and safeguard the well-being of Delhi's residents.

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