Delhi air quality continues to be foul | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Delhi air quality continues to be foul

delhi Updated: Dec 02, 2016 12:32 IST
Highlight Story

School student covers his face to protect himself from pollution in New Delhi. (Mohd Zakir/HT photo)

Air quality in Delhi continued to be foul on Friday and similar bad-air days are expected in the near future too even as the flight and train services were affected in the morning due to fog.

While the Air Quality Index is hovering at 348, the 24-hour rolling average of PM 10 and PM 2.5 touched poor and very poor range respectively on Friday morning, according to System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) data.

On Friday morning, PM10 was 350 microgram per cubic metre while PM 2.5 clocked 188.

PM2.5 and PM10 are ultrafine particles — the dominant pollutants in Delhi. The 24-hour prescribed standards of PM 2.5 and PM10 are 60 and 100 microgram per cubic metre respectively.

According to SAFAR advisory, people with existing heart or lung diseases such as asthma, congestive heart disease or ischemic heart disease are advised to avoid heavy exertion when the air quality is “very poor.”

Read: No child’s play: Breathing in Delhi taking a toll on our kids’ future

The pollution levels are expected to be this high for the rest of the winter. The main factors that influence Delhi’s air quality are wind speed and direction. Typically in winter, the wind speeds are down making the air quality fouler. After a few days of relief earlier this week, when the air quality was comparatively cleaner, the Delhi air is back to what it is every winter, dirty and foul.

Highlights
  • On Friday morning, PM10 was 350 microgram per cubic metre while PM 2.5 clocked 188.
  • PM2.5 and PM10 are ultrafine particles — the dominant pollutants in Delhi.
  • The 24-hour prescribed standards of PM 2.5 and PM10 are 60 and 100 microgram per cubic metre respectively
  • The pollution levels are expected to be this high for the rest of the winter.
  • Delhi is among the world’s most polluted according to the World Health Organisation

“Pollution levels are going up with meteorological adversity in absence of stringent emission control measures. Winter season shows low boundary layer heights and very low wind speeds, which do not allow pollution to disperse and high pollution concentrations are developed,” Sumit Sharma of TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) said.

Delhi, a city of about 20 million people, is among the world’s most polluted according to the World Health Organisation, has been struggling to clean up a toxic cocktail of dust, smoke and gases from its air.

Also read: Ageing inside a dust bowl: Delhi’s senior citizens bear the brunt of pollution

The day after this Diwali, the capital and its neighbourhood saw one of the worst spells of smog that prompted alarm among people.

The situation has improved from “severe” to “very poor”, but still the air we are breathing remains dangerous.

Meanwhile, over 15 flights were delayed at the Delhi airport by one to two hours as visibility dipped to 75 metre at 9am.

However, no diversions have been reported yet.

On Thursday, 300 flights were impacted, 16 were cancelled and about 250 were delayed by 30 minutes to six hours.

Train services were also hit and at least 12 trains from Delhi were reportedly rescheduled.

Over 14 trains from New Delhi railway station were delayed by five to nine hours on Thursday.