Delhiites wake up to ‘severe’ air quality post Diwali

New Delhi, Nov 15 (UNI) The air quality in the national capital deteriorated to the “severe” category a day after Diwali on Sunday, with the average Air Quality Index (AQI) at 460, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said. The skies were covered with a layer of haze as Delhiites woke up this morning.

According to Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) data, the AQI at ITO area and Anand Vihar at 1100 hrs was recorded as 461 and 478 respectively. The neighbouring cities of Faridabad (438), Ghaziabad (483), Greater Noida (439), Gurgaon (424) and Noida (466) also recorded their AQI in the severe category.

The AQI for PM 2.5 pollutant stood at 460 in Pusa, 475 in Patparganj, 450 in Lodhi Road, 491 in Ashok Vihar, 500 in Jahangirpuri and 442 in the IGI airport area. An AQI between 101 and 200 is considered moderate, 201-300 ‘poor’, 301- 400 ‘very poor’ and 401-500 ‘severe’, while the AQI above 500 falls in the severe plus category.

Delhiites flouted the cracker ban imposed by National Green Tribunal (NGT) in wake of the deteriorating air-quality of the national capital on Saturday night, which has enveloped the union territory in a blanket of smog and reduced visibility.

The NGT had on Monday imposed a total ban on sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) from November 9 midnight to November 30 midnight, saying “celebration by crackers is for happiness and not to celebrate deaths and diseases”.

An improvement in the air quality is expected starting the second half of Sunday, with light rain expected across the capital. Wind direction is expected to change to south easterly, reducing the impact of farm fires on Delhi’s air.

“Isolated to scattered rainfall under the influence of fresh Western Disturbance by November 15 is also expected. These factors will greatly help in flushing out the impact of any additional locally generated emissions and biomass related impact to make AQI in the lower end of very poor by November 16,” SAFAR’s official forecast said.

Amid rise in coronavirus cases, surge in pollution levels in Delhi has emerged as a major concern. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is likely to meet Home Minister Amit Shah to discuss these concerns.


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