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Posted at: Jun 14, 2018, 12:11 PM; last updated: Jun 14, 2018, 7:04 PM (IST)

Severe dust pollution chokes NCR; relief expected around June 16

Civil construction activities stopped in Delhi till June 17
Severe dust pollution chokes NCR; relief expected around June 16
Parliament House, South Block and North Block are seen vaguely as weather turns hazy in New Delhi on Thursday. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 14

As severe pollution continues to choke Delhi and neighbouring areas, some relief is expected around Saturday (June 16) when thunderstorms with gusty winds and a change in wind direction could blow away the dust looming over the region.

In fact, the entire Northwest region appears headed for turbulent times from June 16 with thunderstorms and squalls expected over many places.

Meanwhile, civil construction activities have been stopped in Delhi till June 17 following severe dust pollution.  The IMD on Thursday said thunderstorms accompanied by gusty winds and lightning are likely at isolated places over Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and east Uttar Pradesh on June 16.

Duststorms/thunderstorms are also expected over isolated places over west Uttar Pradesh on the day. The same is expected for the next couple of days.

The official forecaster has predicted thunderstorms accompanied by squall at isolated places over Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Thunderstorms accompanied by gusty winds and lightning are also likely at isolated places over Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh on June 17.

June 18 may also see thunderstorm accompanied by gusty winds and lightning at some places over Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

Meanwhile, isolated to scattered rain is likely over the northern plains between June 19 and 21, it added.

A sudden haze has covered Delhi and the NCR since Tuesday with air quality plummeting into the severely polluted category.

The IMD has blamed unusual duststorms and wind direction for these high pollution levels during this time of the year.
Rajasthan is facing extremely dry weather conditions, with high temperatures and wind speeds. According to the IMD, the wind direction in Delhi since June 10 has changed to the west and northwest and then since June 12 to west and southwest, due to which hot air, along with dust from Rajasthan, has started moving into Delhi.

“The current surface winds in Delhi are in the range of 5-6 m/sec and wind direction is west to Southwest, which is likely to continue over the next three days. Therefore, it is expected that dusty conditions will prevail in Delhi over the next three days,” it added.

Meanwhile, major construction agencies, municipal corporations and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) have been alerted to ensure water sprinkling as required.

The Environment Ministry has also asked the Delhi Chief Secretary to issue appropriate instructions to the agencies concerned.

On Wednesday, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) convened an urgent meeting of the Task Force regarding implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) and issued necessary directions to contain local dust sources. The Task Force also recommended that the public should avoid prolonged exposure, it said.

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