Delhi air in severe zone, no respite likely over weekend
There was no respite from air pollution in Delhi early Saturday as the city recorded an average hourly Air Quality Index (AQI) of 405, which is in the severe category.
Delhi’s air quality was also in the same category on Friday, despite marginal improvement. Scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said rising stubble burning cases in neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana have been the primary factor behind the Capital’s foul air.
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data showed that the overall AQI of Delhi on Friday was 406, in the severe category. Even though the wind speed over Delhi improved to around 8-10kmph through the day, it was not enough to bring about much improvement from Thursday’s AQI of 450.
IMD recordings showed that the early morning temperature in Delhi hovered around 12 degrees Celsius.
Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre, said no significant improvement in the pollution level is likely over the weekend. “The wind will slow down through Friday night, which might lead to deterioration in the air quality early Saturday. The wind direction will also continue to be north-westerly, which will transport smoke from farm fires,” he said on Friday.