On Friday, the AQI (air quality index) registered ‘hazardous’ levels of pollution in the national capital. The primary pollutant behind the over 400 AQI is PM10.
The main affected areas were Delhi Technological University in Rohini, PGDAV College in Sriniwaspuri, Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Faridabad. The toxic air has become a health hazard for the residents of these areas. It has already been termed as a medical emergency by the NGT (National Green Tribunal).
On Thursday, it was noted by the SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting) that Delhi had been enveloped in a thick layer of haze. The reason for this could be the burning of crops in nearby states, but SAFAR said that the impact from that was minimal and Delhi was responsible for its own doom. Due to high humidity and low temperature, the air quality is expected to remain the same over the next few days.
To battle the ever increasing pollution crisis in Delhi, the government has given approval to IIT Kanpur scientists to go ahead with their plan of inducing artificial rain over the national capital. The scientists would use the same technology used by China in the 2008 Beijing Olympics to ward off unfavourable conditions.
The plan will include cloud seeding technique which can only work if clouds are about 2.5 KM to 4 KM above the city. As of now, they have noted that distance is over 6 KM, which may pose a problem. In addition, the clouds need to consist of specific supercooled ice crystals and water droplets. They have said, however, that if the clouds are of the appropriate thickness and posses the right conditions, they can move forward with the plan.
Another move by the government to assess the extent of the air pollution involves buying new aircrafts that come loaded with sophisticated technology. The exclusive aircraft, equipped with sophisticated instruments, will work as National Facility for Airborne Research (NFAR). The aircraft will be procured by 2020 and carryout all airborne atmospheric research that will help in strengthening and improving forecast capabilities as well as in assessing air pollution and associated impacts on health and climate.
Hopefully these steps will ameliorate the conditions residents of the capital will find respite from the pollution in the future.