The city continued to be blanketed by smog for a fourth consecutive day and the air quality was marked ‘very poor’ on Saturday. There was no sunshine and the visibility was less than 300 metres. The minimum temperature was 16 degrees Celsius.
As per the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) data, the average level of PM2.5 was 419.89 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³) on Saturday against a permissible limit of 60 µg/m³.
Data from the India Meteorological Department showed that wind speed was zero on Saturday compared to 8 km per hour on Friday.
“It was very difficult to travel because of dense fog. Vehicles crawled to avoid accidents and despite being a weekend, it took me 45 minutes to reach Shona road from Golf Couse Road,” Kavita Roy of Golf Course Road, said.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded the level of PM 2.5 at 257 µg/m³ around 2pm on Saturday. The PM2.5 was 824 µg/m³ around the same time Thursday.
The air quality improved slightly on Saturday because of the light wind from Rajasthan on Friday, helping in the dispersal of pollutants, an HSPCB official said.
“The condition may not improve in the next few days. The wind movement from Rajasthan that dispersed the pollutants on Friday has stopped. Any major change is not expected,” Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy at Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said.
The HSPCB said the crop stubble burning, low temperature and negligible wind coupled with increase in particulate matter after Diwali have caused the air quality to plummet.
“We will act on the CPCB’s 42-point order that was issued in December. Apart from curbing open garbage and crop burning, we will monitor industries and construction sites to check pollution levels,” Bhupender Singh, regional officer, HSPCB, said.