Air quality in city improves slightly

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New Delhi, Oct 24 (PTI) Delhi's air quality improved marginally on Tuesday morning but was still in the poor category, according to monitoring agencies.

The city's average air quality index (AQI) stood at 220 at 12 noon, improving from 263 at 4 pm on Monday.  Delhi's air quality had turned "very poor" on Sunday for the first time since May, mainly due to a drop in temperature and wind speed, which allowed pollutants to accumulate.

On Monday, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said the government has identified eight more pollution hotspots in addition to the existing 13 in the national capital, and special teams will be deployed there to check pollution sources.

  Rai said the government has also decided to use suppressant powder to prevent dust pollution in the city.

Dust suppressants could include chemical agents like calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, lignosulfonates, and various polymers. These chemicals work by attracting and binding fine dust particles together, making them too heavy to become airborne.  The minister also said the government will re-launch a campaign to curb vehicular pollution on October 26, a year after Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena put it on hold, questioning its effectiveness.

Sources in the city government's environment department said the LG's permission will not be required for the "Red Light On Gaadi Off" campaign this year as the participants will not receive any honorarium, unlike in previous seasons. PTI GVS DV DV

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