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Air pollution: 18 Flights diverted due to low visibility at Delhi airport

New Delhi, Dec 02, 2023: As many as 18 flights have been diverted from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Saturday due to bad weather and low visibility. An official said that these flights have been diverted to Jaipur, Amritsar, Ahmedabad and Lucknow.



Sharing an update on the situation, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) posted on its X handle and said that the low visibility procedures were currently in progress at the airport.


Among these 18 flights, two belonged to the Vistara airlines’. The Ahmedabad to Delhi UK906 flight was diverted to Ahmedabad, while the Mumbai to Delhi UK954 flight was diverted to Jaipur in view of bad weather and low visibility at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, the airlines said.

Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) continued to remian in the ‘very poor’ category according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Delhi’s Anand Vihar recorded an AQI of 388, while Ashok Vihar stood at 386, Lodhi Road at 349 and Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at 366.

On Wednesday, the national capital’s AQI had reportedly improved following rain and wind in the preceding two days, bringing respite from the severe pollution levels in the state.

The Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) on Tuesday had ordered immediate removal of curbs under Stage-III of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in Delhi-NCR due to the improvement in air quality, an official statement said.

The decision came after several parts of the national capital witnessed light rains on Monday and Tuesday.

The CAQM — responsible for strategies to combat pollution in the region — met on Tuesday in view of the notable improvement in the overall air quality of Delhi-NCR.

GRAP Stage-III which applies on the ‘severe’ category of AQI, which lies between 401-450, prohibits construction and demolition activities with the exception of railway, metro, hospital and sanitation projections. Linear public projects such as highways, roads, and flyovers also fall under the exception.

The curbs also order the closure of those industries that have PNG supplies but do not use approved fuels. Industries that do not use approved fuels will be able to function only five days a week in areas where PNG is unavailable.

Apart from this, state governments in NCR may also impose restrictions on BS III petrol and BS IV diesel four-wheelers.

The GRAP restrictions specified for the current AQI level, which is ‘very poor’ fall under Stage-II with AQI falling between 301 and 400.

The curbs prohibit hotel tandoors from using coal or firewood. The use of diesel generator sets except for essential or emergency services such as in hospitals, railways, metro services, airports, water pumping stations and ‘nationally significant projects’ is also prohibited.

Stage-II also imposes an increase in parking fees to discourage private transportation.

GRAP Stage-II also asks authorities to supplement CNG/electric buses and metro services by purchasing additional fleet and increasing their service frequency.

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