Weekend to get colder, air quality worsens
Gurugram Thursday was yet another ‘severe cold’ day in the city as the maximum temperature was 11.8 degrees Celsius, nine degrees Celsius below the normal for this time of the year, as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Wednesday’s maximum temperature was 11.2 degrees Celsius, the season’s lowest so far.
The minimum temperature was also below the normal by two degrees Celsius, at 5.4 degrees Celsius. It fell marginally from 5.7 degrees Celsius the previous day, as per the IMD data.
Air quality in the city remained in the ‘poor’ category of the Central Pollution Control Board’s daily air quality index (AQI) bulletin, deteriorating to an index value of 290 on Thursday, from the previous day’s reading of 211. The average daily concentration of finer particulate matter on Thursday was 249ug/m3, as per the city’s official air quality monitor at Vikas Sadan, up from the previous day’s 203ug/m3.
The minimum temperature on Saturday is expected to fall further to around 4 degrees Celsius, as per the IMD’s prediction. The maximum temperature on Friday and Saturday could be around 12 degrees Celsius, the MeT department said.
“With the minimum temperature dropping to 4 degrees Celsius on Saturday and Sunday, cold wave conditions are expected in NCR,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, a senior scientist at the IMD.
Experts and officials attributed the uptick to prevailing cold day conditions and reduced wind speeds. “Wind speed on Thursday was between 6 and 10 kmph, which is not ideal for dispersal of pollutants. The ventilation index over NCR on Thursday was about 4,500m2/s, whereas one needs a ventilation index of at least 6,000m2/s to effectively clean up the air,” a senior scientist at the CPCB’s air quality lab in Delhi said.
With wind expected to slow down further over the weekend, air quality stands to deteriorate. The predicted ventilation index over Delhi-NCR on Friday is 2,000m2/s, and 1,000m2/s on Saturday. Moreover, the ‘mixing depth’ of pollutants (which refers to the height at which they settle above the earth’s surface) was just 900 metres on Friday, and is expected to drop to 800 metres on Saturday.
According to the early air quality warning system for Delhi-NCR, “Air quality is likely to remain in ‘very poor’ category on December 27. The air quality will start deteriorating on December 28 and reach the upper end of ‘very poor’ category owing to low wind speed and poor ventilation index. The air quality is likely to reach the ‘severe’ category on December 29.”
One can't deny the hardships a street dog faces, especially in Delhi's sweltering heat. The apex court has also recognised a stray's right to food and a citizen's right to feed. In a much-awaited decision, the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a previous Delhi High Court order that allowed residents to feed stray dogs at designated feeding spots in colonies — bringing relief to dog lovers and their furry friends.
The Gurugram district administration issued an advisory on Monday asking private companies to allow their staff to work from home so that traffic congestion on roads can be prevented. Several major roads in the city have been flooded after the downpour in the morning. Yadav, who is also the chairperson of District Disaster Management Authority, said it was advisable that companies ensured that as many employees as possible worked from home.
New Delhi: At least 20 flights were diverted and around 100 delayed between 6 am and 10 am as wind speeds touching as high as 75 km per hour disrupted operations at the Delhi airport. Officials said a majority of the diversions took place between 6:30 and 9 am before normal operations resumed. Thirteen flights were diverted to Jaipur, two each to Lucknow and Amritsar, and one each to Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Indore.
The Gurugram Traffic Police on Monday asked the residents of the city - neighbouring Delhi - to "consider exercising the option to work from home" after a heavy rainfall on Monday caused flooding on city roads and blockade due to uprooted trees. "Water logging has been reported near Atul Kataria chowk . Our traffic officials are on the spot to facilitate the traffic flow. Commuters are requested to plan their travel accordingly. @gurgaonpolice (sic)."
Due to a western disturbance active over the region, light to moderate rainfall was recorded across Punjab and Haryana, leading to a significant drop in the mercury on Monday. Due to thundershowers and winds that blew overnight, the temperature witnessed a fall of 4 to 6 degrees Celsius. Manmohan Singh, the India Meteorological Department, Chandigarh, director added that the maximum day temperature is expected to touch 37 degrees Celsius on Monday, 4 to 5 degrees below the average day temperature.