Delhi's AQI improves marginally, still in 'very poor' category
Delhi's air quality on Monday saw marginal improvement as it reached the lower end of the 'very poor' category with Air Quality Index (AQI) at 318, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
The improvement comes on a day the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government will submit a lockdown proposal to the Supreme Court to reduce the rising air pollution further. The top court on Saturday said the rise in pollution levels in Delhi was an "emergency situation" and suggested clamping a lockdown in the national capital.
The Delhi government has announced the closure of physical classes in schools, colleges and other educational institutions, except those where exams are being conducted, for a week from Monday.
All government offices, agencies and autonomous bodies, except those involved in essential services, have been directed to ask employees to work from home. No construction and demolition activity will be allowed in the capital till November 17, the AAP government has also said.
The bulletin by SAFAR, The Union ministry of earth sciences' air quality forecasting agency, said that the AQI is likely to improve by Tuesday "as winds at transport level are slowing down resulting in lesser intrusion of farm fires related pollutants into Delhi."
However, calm local winds reduce the dispersion of pollutants, the net effect of which is likely to make air quality remain very poor category, the agency said.
The effective farm fire count for Sunday was 3445, contributing to 12 per cent of Delhi's PM2.5.
"Implementation of lockdown for the two days with restrictions in anthropogenic activity emitting pollutants, air quality may improve a little but likely to remain in the very poor category if stubble burning share does not increase," SAFAR's bulletin said.
SAFAR said that AQI is likely to deteriorate from November 16 night onwards due to calm wind conditions, as predicted. "On November 17, it is likely to be in the upper end of the very poor category," they added.
The pollution level in the National Capital Region (NCR), especially Noida and Gurugram, has also shown slight improvement.
Noida reported AQI in the upper end of the 'very poor category at 387 and Gurugram’s air quality saw a significant improvement and has now reached the lower end of the 'very poor' category at 317.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.