Delhi gets no respite, air quality ‘severe’ and dust blanket stays

Authorities have warned that the dusty conditions are likely to prevail for the next 3-4 days in Delhi.

delhi Updated: Jun 14, 2018 11:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi,Dust storm,Storm
The dusty conditions in Delhi are likely to prevail for the next 3-4 days.(PTI)

Delhi woke up to a thick blanket of dust for a third day on Thursday as the haze kept the city’s air quality ‘severe’.

Authorities have warned that the dusty conditions are likely to prevail for the next 3-4 days and advised people against going outdoors.

Such levels of pollution have not been seen in Delhi since November, when farm fires in adjoining states pushed the air quality into ‘severe’ category.

The current problem is blamed on strong winds, packing a speed of 40–50 km per hour, that are bringing in dust from West Asian deserts. An anti-cyclonic flow over northwest India is channelling these winds towards Delhi.

“Such strong winds are expected to continue till Friday night after which they are likely to weaken. There are chances of rain on June 17,” said RK Jenamani, head of the aviation meteorology services of Delhi region and IGI Airport.

The Supreme Court-appointed panel Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control Authority) sent an advisory to chief secretaries of all NCR states, including Delhi, to begin sprinkling water on streets in an effort to tamp down some of the dust.

Poison in Delhi air
The city was covered in haze mainly caused by dust for the second consecutive day

Hindustan Times’ interactive quality map showed that at 11:30am the IGI airport, Sector 125 in Noida and Haryana State Pollution Control Board office in Gurgaon were “severe”.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the air quality index -- a measurement of the concentration of toxic particulate matter in the air -- at several places in Delhi remained beyond the 500-mark, with east Delhi’s Anand Vihar area recording a PM10 level of 929 and PM2.5 level of 301 Thursday morning.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered “Good”, between 51-100 “Satisfactory”, 101-200 “Moderate”, 201-300 “Poor”, 301-400 “Very Poor”, and 401-500 “Severe”.

“Except for two days in June 2016, the air quality in Delhi has never plunged to such abysmal levels since 2015. Such high level of dust pollution was last seen in November 2017 when dust from central Asia had reportedly engulfed the city, triggering smog-like conditions,” said a scientist at the CPCB.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Jun 14, 2018 11:08 IST