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Air quality picks up as max temp hits season low

By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON DEC 25, 2019 07:45 PM IST

Gurugram Air quality in the city improved slightly on Wednesday, settling in the ‘poor’ category of the Central Pollution Control Board’s Air Quality Index (AQI), with a reading of 211, an improvement from the previous day’s AQI of 324 (‘very poor’).

The improvement in the air quality coincided with a dip in day temperatures, which touched a season-low. However, strong surface winds during the day helped maintain pollution levels low, said officials.

The average daily concentration of finer particulate matter (PM2.5) on Wednesday, according to the HSPCB’s air quality monitor at Vikas Sadan, was 203ug/m3, down from Tuesday’s 284ug/m3, still higher than the safe limit of 60ug/m3.

Private monitors, on the other hand, recorded air quality in the lower end of the ‘very poor’ category. While one monitor in Sector 54 recorded an AQI of 287, another in Sectors 55-56 recorded an AQI of 309, with PM2.5 at 122ug/m3 and PM10 at 357ug/m3. A monitor in South City-1 recorded an AQI of 314, with PM2.5 at 138ug/m3 and PM10 at 352ug/m3.

“Wednesday saw strong winds (of about 12kmph) blowing from the north and northwest during the day. Manesar, which is upwind from Gurugram, in fact, saw ‘moderate’ air, with 189 on the AQI,” a senior scientist at the CPCB’s air quality lab in Delhi said.

Similarly, Alwar, in Rajasthan, which is also favourably located in relation to the speed and direction of wind, saw ‘satisfactory’ air, with 93 on the AQI bulletin, the official explained. Meanwhile, Delhi, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad (all of which lie further east), recorded ‘very poor’ air, with AQIs between 350 and 383. Greater Noida, which is even further downwind, recorded an AQI of 393, just short of the AQI’s ‘severe’ category.

The minimum temperature, meanwhile, increased slightly, touching 6 degrees Celsius, up from Tuesday’s 5.7 degrees Celsius. The maximum daytime temperature dropped sharply, dipping to a season-low of 11.1 degrees Celsius, down from 16.5 degrees Celsius the previous day.

Over the coming days, according to the India Meteorological Department’s seven-day forecast, fog and misty conditions will prevail in the early morning, with clearer skies during the day. The minimum temperature is expected to rise to about 8 degrees Celsius by December 31, while the maximum temperature is expected to rise to 18 degrees Celsius at the same time.

While most parts of Delhi are expected to experience ‘very poor’ air on Thursday as well, Gurugram is expected to continue in the ‘poor’ category, with a predicted AQI of 262 on Thursday.

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