Delhi air quality remains very poor, likely to improve on Saturday
From Saturday, a western disturbance is likely to trigger strong surface winds which are likely to bring down the pollution levels, thus improving the air quality.Updated: Nov 22, 2019 09:50 IST
The air quality of Delhi continued to remain in the “very poor” category with the Air Quality Index (AQI) value hovering around 366 at 8am on Friday.
At 4pm on Thursday, the 24-hour average AQI was 366.
System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the ministry of earth science’s weather and air quality monitoring centre, said that air quality is likely to deteriorate further on Friday and reach the severe category.
The air quality, however, is likely to improve from Saturday.
Safar said that the deterioration is primarily due to low surface winds and temperature inversion at night, because of which the pollutants are getting trapped near the surface.
From Saturday, a western disturbance is likely to trigger strong surface winds which are likely to bring down the pollution levels, thus improving the air quality.
An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered “poor”. The 301-400 level falls in the “very poor” and 401-500 in the “severe” category, which is dangerous for vulnerable people such as children and the elderly. The AQI above 500 falls under the “severe plus” category.
The air quality in Delhi was in the “very poor” category on Thursday. By Thursday evening, air quality monitoring stations at several places such as Nehru Nagar, Dwarka, Rohini, Bawana and Anand Vihar had shown readings under the “severe” zone.
Experts had said after a long spell of crop residue burning affecting Delhi’s air, local sources started acting up on Thursday. The contribution of crop stubble burning was negligible on Thursday, and it is expected to go down further on Friday, they said.
A SAFAR forecast on Thursday said that the share of crop stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana was 5%. This is likely to reach 4% on Friday.
Meanwhile, the education department issued an advisory to all heads of all schools to follow guidelines set by the health department on air pollution.
The Directorate General of Health Services had issued a public health advisory earlier this month asking people to remain indoors, consult doctors in case of breathlessness or chest discomfort, use masks and public transport, among other things.
The health department also asked vulnerable population — including elderly, children below five years, pregnant women and those with poor nutritional status — to “strictly avoid outdoor physical activities and remain indoors and keep activity levels low to protect health from pollution.”