The air quality improved in Delhi after Christmas day, going from “severe” to “very poor” on Monday.
The 24-hour rolling average of PM10 and PM2.5 clocked 352 and 222μg/m3 in the morning, according to SAFAR. Later in the day, it improved to 282 and 162 μg/m3 respectively, in the very poor category.
According to the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) advisory, people with heart or lung diseases must avoid exertion when the air quality is “very poor”. PM2.5 and PM10 are ultra-fine particles that are the dominant pollutants in Delhi. The acceptable levels of PM 2.5 and PM10 are 60 and 100 microgram per cubic metre, respectively.
The Air Quality Index, too, was very poor at 377. Though this is still dangerous, strong winds are helping. The air quality is expected to improve further on Tuesday.
Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain on Monday reviewed the state of ambient air quality with officers of the department and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee.
“Levels of PM10 and PM2.5 showed an increasing trend on December 23 and 24 due to non-dispersal of pollutants with low temperature and low wind speed. However, December 25 onwards, ambient air quality has improved due to better wind speed,” a government statement said.
Hussain directed officials to asked the concerned departments to intensify air pollution controlling measures in heavily-polluted areas such as Anand Vihar and Punjabi Bagh.