Air quality in Delhi ‘hazardous’, worse than Beijing

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 02, 2015 00:46 IST
Thick smog blanketed the national capital and visibility was down to about 200 meters. (Reuters Phot)

As Beijing choked under its thickest blanket of smog this year on Tuesday, things looked up for the Indian capital with the amount of airborne particles and the density of smog both taking a dip.

While the air quality index touched the 500-mark, the highest for all monitoring stations in Beijing, it oscillated between 300 and 400 in Delhi after having touched 408 on Monday.

The Central Pollution Control Board defines an air quality index reading of 0-50 as “good”, 51-100 as “satisfactory”, 301-400 as “very poor” and 401-500 as “severe”.

The level of PM 2.5 in Beijing’s air reportedly crossed 600 on Monday. However, gusty winds that blew across the Chinese capital later on Tuesday cleared the sky dramatically and led to better air quality.

According to real time data from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s monitoring stations, at 7.10pm on Tuesday the level of fine pollution particles (PM 2.5) was 258 mcg/cubic m at Anand Vihar, one of the most polluted spots of the city, 169 at Mandir Marg, 193 at Punjabi Bagh and 243 at RK Puram.

This was way better than Monday, when PM 2.5 levels were in the “severe” category in many parts of the city, with Anand Vihar reporting levels up to 530 mcg/cubic m.

“On Sunday, the average PM 2.5 reading was 165. However, the air quality is expected to get better in the next two days,” Gufran Beig, project director of SAFAR (System Of Air Quality & Weather Forecasting & Research) under the ministry of earth sciences, told HT.

Apart from hitting peaks in terms of pollution on Monday, Delhi witnessed one of its worst days of smog for the season, with visibility remaining less than 800 metres.

“The smog density is much better on Tuesday as visibility is less than 1,500 metres at 6pm compared to 700 metres at the same time on Monday,” a Met official said.

(With agency inputs)

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