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Delhi enjoys ‘poor’ quality air for the second day

Experts said that air quality is unlikely to deteriorate over the next two days at least, after which there could be a marginal spike. But chances of the AQI hitting the ‘severe’ category anytime soon is remote.

delhi Updated: Nov 19, 2017 23:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
delhi air,delhi air quality,poor air quality
Tourists enjoy a clean weather morning on Saturday. The air quality further improved on Sunday but still remained poor. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Delhi’s air quality further improved on Sunday but continued to remain in the ‘poor’ category for the second consecutive day.

On Sunday the day’s average AQI was 292. On Saturday the AQI was 298. An AQI value between 201 and 300 is considered as ‘poor’ in terms of pollution. The Capital’s AQI had shot up to 486 on November 9.

Experts said that air quality is unlikely to deteriorate over the next two days at least, after which there could be a marginal spike. But chances of the AQI hitting the ‘severe’ category anytime soon is remote.

This has come as a whiff of fresh air Delhiites, as pollution levels hardly drops to such low levels in the city during this time of the year. It usually remains in ‘very poor’ or ‘severe’ category in November. In November 2016, the city had witnessed its worst smog in 17 years. There were three days when air quality was ‘poor’, while in November 2015 there were only two days of ‘poor’ quality air

“We expect the air quality to remain in the ‘poor’ category over the next two days, at least. Levels of particulate matter – the key pollutants in Delhi’s air - are at their lowest compared to what they usually remain during this time of the year,” said D Saha, head of the air quality laboratory at CPCB.

Earlier this month, the AQI touched 486 on scale of 500 and remained in the ‘severe’ category for seven consecutive days. Levels of particulate matter had shot up more than 10 times above the safe standards. In the aftermath of the pollution gripping the city, schools were shut, the US-based United Airlines temporarily suspended its Newark-Delhi flights and the Delhi government planned to roll out the odd-even road rationing measure.

But a timely rain in northwest India on Thursday and in Delhi on Friday turned to provide respite from the unclean air.

“Two back-to-back western disturbances triggered rains in northwestern states and Delhi. This helped to wash away the pollutants that had accumulated over the past few weeks, not just in Delhi but in neighbouring states too,” said Gurfan Beig head of SAFAR – a pollution forecasting system maintained by the Union government.

Strong winds that are now blowing over Delhi flushed out the remaining pollutants cleaning Delhi’s air.

First Published: Nov 19, 2017 23:51 IST