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Bhalswa landfill fire: Residents gasp for clean air
New Delhi, April 27 - The thick black smoke emanating from the Bhalswa landfill site in north Delhi, which went up in flames on Tuesday, is choking the people residing in the nearby areas.
The residents have started complaining of sore throat, itchy eyes and breathing problems.
The pollution levels have also soared in the area. According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the air quality at the Dhirpur monitoring station, just 6 km from the landfill site, is currently under 'severe' category.
The pollutant PM 2.5 was at 316 (severe) and PM 10 at 251 (poor).
Usually, the air quality is categorised as 'good' when the AQI is between 0 and 30; 'satisfactory' at 31-60; 'moderate' at 61-90; 'poor' at 91-120; 'very poor' at 121-250; and 'severe' at over 250.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai has also issued directions to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to investigate the landfill fire incident and submit a report within 24 hours. The directions were issued on Tuesday.
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. However, officials said that the rising temperature these days allows the formation of methane gas at the dumpyard site which is extremely flammable.
"It could have triggered a spark that led to this massive blaze," said an official.
A school in the vicinity of the dumpyard has also been closed out of fear that the smoke might affect children's health.
At the time of filing this report, five fire engines were still working to douse the blaze.
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