Delhi air marginally better but pollution level still in ‘severe’ zone
The 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) value at 7:30 am on Saturday was 420. It had touched 484 around 4 pm on Friday.
The air quality in Delhi-NCR region improved minimally on Saturday morning and came out of the ‘emergency’ zone, but pollution levels are still hovering in the ‘severe’ category and the city continues to be shrouded in smoke and haze. Though government agencies have forecast improvement in air quality over the weekend, it will still be in ‘very poor’ zone.
“The air quality has started improving. We are expecting further improvement by today evening. A western disturbance is approaching and this would help to flush out more pollutants. The air quality is likely to come down to very poor levels by Sunday,” said a CPCB official.
The 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) value at 7:30 am on Saturday was 420. It had touched 484 around 4 pm on Friday. The highest AQI value Delhi has encountered in recent years was 497, on November 6, 2016 when the national capital was engulfed in worst smog in 17 years.
The levels of PM10 and PM2.5, which had breached the emergency levels late on Thursday night, improved but continued to be in severe zone on Saturday morning. Their concentration is still more than four times the daily permissible limits.
On Thursday, authorities had to declare a health emergency and the Delhi government ordered shutting down schools till November 5. Construction activities in the national capital and its satellite towns have been completely banned till November 5 and anti-pollution masks were distributed among school children.
While the air quality in some areas such as Shadipur, NSIT Dwarka, RK puram, Aya Nagar, Pusa and Rohini has already improved to very poor levels, several areas such as ITO, Ashok Vohar, Vivek Vihar and Wazirpur were still in severe zone with AQI hovering above 440.
Experts had said that the deterioration of air quality in Delhi was primarily because of smoke coming from stubble burning regions of Punjab and Haryana and unfavourbale meteorological conditions such as low speed winds.