A spike in air pollution in Delhi has become a cause for concern in the run-up to the day-night India-Bangladesh T20I on November 3. According to government agencies, the air pollution level in the Indian capital shot up yesterday and was expected to enter the ‘severe’ category last night due to firecracker emissions on the occasion of Diwali, unfavourable weather and a significant spike in stubble burning.
A thin layer of toxic haze hung over Delhi yesterday morning and the overall air quality index stood at 313 at 9:00am local time, which continued its upward trend and was recorded at 341 at 2.30 pm. An AQI of 100 or less is considered ‘satisfactory’, and between 300 and 400 is considered ‘very poor’, and ‘severe’ above 400.
After last year’s Diwali, Delhi’s AQI had crossed the 600-mark.
It is expected that the Bangladesh team will be asked to carry face masks in case the need arises.
“Look, we have factored in the post Diwali air pollution in Delhi but since the match is a week away, we are hopeful that the players won’t face any health hazards,” a senior BCCI official told PTI while acknowledging that there are practical concerns.
“The travel itinerary has been chalked in such a manner that Bangladesh will directly arrive in Delhi and exit the country from Kolkata. We wanted to make the travelling convenient that it starts from North, goes to West (Nagpur, Rajkot, Indore) and finishes in the east (Kolkata),” the official said.
The Indian government has also asked Haryana and Punjab to stop stubble burning completely for the next ‘critical’ days.