Air quality dips further, no respite this weekUpdated: Dec 06, 2019 19:28 IST
Gurugram Air quality in the city continued to deteriorate on Friday, touching 386 (‘very poor’) on the Central Pollution Control Board’s daily air quality index (AQI) bulletin. This was a dip from a reading of 320 (also ‘very poor’) the previous day.
Experts and officials attributed the uptick in pollutants to the onset of winter, which has brought with it lower temperatures and slower winds. They said that the pollution levels in Gurugram would likely enter the ‘severe’ category of the AQI bulletin on Saturday.
The minimum and maximum temperatures on Friday were 7.8 degrees Celsius and 24 degrees Celsius, respectively. Winds of 5-10kmph were blowing from the north and northwest, due to which Gurugram and Manesar (with an AQI of 333) had the best air in Delhi-NCR.
The concentration of finer particulate matter, having a diameter less than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5), the city’s most prominent pollutant, was 366ug/m3 according to the HSPCB’s air quality monitor at Vikas Sadan, over six times the safe limit of 60ug/m3, as per the national ambient air quality standards.
At sporadic intervals during the early morning, the concentration even veered into the ‘severe’ category, surpassing the 400ug/m3 mark, with a maximum concentration of 412ug/m3 at 4am. The minimum concentration, around 5pm, was 290ug/m3.
Private monitors also recorded hazardous air quality on Friday. An air quality monitor in South City-1 recorded an average daily AQI of 336, with PM10 level at 306ug/m3. A monitor on Golf Course Road recorded an AQI of 375, with PM10 level exceeding 350ug/m3, while another monitor in Sector 58 recorded ‘severe’ pollution level, with an AQI reading of 413 and PM10 level in excess of 400ug/m3, against the safe limit of 100ug/m3.
According to official forecasts, air quality is likely to deteriorate further over the weekend, and it will be at least another five to six days before a significant dispersal of pollutants can take place. According to the early air quality warning system for Delhi-NCR, “air quality is likely to remain in lower end of very poor to severe category on 07.12.2019. The air quality is likely to improve marginally on 08.12.2019 but remain in upper end of very poor category. Significant improvement in Air Quality is expected from 11.12.2019.”
The predicted AQI for Gurugram on Saturday is 397, with predictions of 415 and 433 for Sunday and Monday, respectively.