The residents of Delhi are officially living through a public health emergency. Dangerously high levels of PM 2.5, which have exceeded 400 micrograms per cubic meter in the city in recent days, can lead to a host of deadly cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses. These impacts will be experienced across much of India. According to the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI), the life expectancy of the average person in the Indo-Gangetic Plain region of India would be 7.1 years higher if air pollution levels were permanently reduced to meet the globally accepted standard.
The AQI, at 11 a.m., was recorded at 483 which is just short of the severe plus category which commences at an AQI threshold of 500. The situation is expected to persist till the early hours of Monday following which some respite is likely.
On Friday, Delhi recorded a 24-hour AQI average 484. Pollution levels were high across the National Capital Region: Noida (487), Ghaziabad (483), Greater Noida (470) and Gurgaon (457) breathed extremely polluted air.