Written bySiddhant Pandey ·
A day before the odd-even road rationing scheme comes into force, residents in Delhi woke up to a thick blanket of smog on Sunday morning even as some areas received light rainfall.
Reportedly, in the past 24 hours, Delhi received 0.3 mm rain, however, the air quality remained 'severe-plus'.
Several flights have also been diverted due to poor visibility.
Here are more details.
According to ANI, the Air Quality Index (AQI) docked at 625 at 10 am in Delhi despite light showers in parts of the city in the early hours.
The neighboring regions of Ghaziabad and Noida also recorded AQIs over 600.
Meanwhile, the Delhi University area recorded an AQI of 591, followed by 537 at Lodhi colony, 509 in Dhirpur, and 432 in Chandni Chowk.
Reportedly, residents complained of eye irritation and suffocation.
Ghaziabad resident Prashant Shukla told ANI, "We're athletes and have most of the events in the winter. This thick smog is affecting our health making it difficult to breathe in the poisonous air."
"I'm coughing too much these days," said Mukul Sharma, who also lives in Ghaziabad, "The government must tighten the noose around stubble burning."
Further, on Sunday morning, 32 flights were diverted to nearby cities as visibility dropped to 300m at the IGI Airport in Delhi.
An Air India spokesperson said, "Due to bad weather, flight operations affected since morning 9am in T3 airport. Twelve flights are diverted to Jaipur, Amritsar and Lucknow."
Airport authorities advised passengers to check their flight schedules for any updates in advance.
Meanwhile, to combat the heavy pollution, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced the third-edition of the odd-even scheme.
Under the scheme, vehicles are to ply alternatively on odd and even dates depending on whether their license plate number ends in an odd or even number.
The scheme comes into effect from November 4 and will continue till November 15.
Kejriwal has repeatedly criticized the practice of stubble burning in the neighboring Haryana and Punjab for worsening Delhi's air.
After Diwali, he said that Delhi's air quality was "lowest in five years."
The governments of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana have also sought the Centre's urgent intervention in the matter.
Further, schools have been ordered shut in Delhi till Tuesday considering the health emergency.
Additionally, in Noida and Greater Noida, all government and private schools up to Class 12 have been ordered shut till Tuesday to minimize the students' exposure to pollutants.
The decision was made to keep school transport from further contributing to PM 2.5 and PM 10 pollutants, Gautam Buddh Nagar District Magistrate BN Singh noted in a written order on Sunday.
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