Pollution forecast: Delhi air quality to dip further
Scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that till Sunday afternoon, wind speeds in the national capital remained nearly 16kmph, but slowed down by evening. Experts said wind speeds are expected to remain low on Tuesday.Updated: Oct 29, 2019, 03:30 IST
Though Delhi may have breathed the cleanest air for three years on Diwali this time, the fight against pollution is far from over. Scientists and weather experts say air quality in the city is expected to dip and reach the ‘severe’ category on Tuesday.
Scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that till Sunday afternoon, wind speeds in the national capital remained nearly 16kmph, but slowed down by evening. Experts said wind speeds are expected to remain low on Tuesday.
“It seems like the air quality will dip to the ‘severe’ category on Tuesday. The winds are not strong enough to blow the pollutants away,” a senior IMD scientist said.
Things will also get worse for the city because of the increasing count of stubble burning in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana. Data from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (Safar), ministry of earth science’s weather and air quality forecasting agency, shows that on Monday the share of crop residue burning in Delhi’s PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter with diameter less than 2.5 micrometres) levels was nearly 15%. However, this is likely to increase and become 25% on Tuesday.
“There was a significant spike in the number of fire counts on Monday itself. Over 1,000 instances were spotted in the afternoon,” the IMD scientist said.
VK Shukla, in-charge of air quality management at the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), said agencies need to remain cautious in the coming days.
“All the agencies are on their toes. Everyone has been doing good work, but we will all have to wait before we can give ourselves a pat on the back,” Shukla said.
At 10pm on Monday itself, several stations in the city reached the ‘severe’ category. The air quality index (AQI) levels at ITO, Sirifort, Lodhi Road and Mathura Road were above 400, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.