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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Strong west winds to keep Delhi hot, dusty polluted till Friday

Data showed that levels of PM10, a measure of pollution, is eight times the permissible limit in Delhi right now, making the air quality severely bad.

delhi Updated: Jun 14, 2018 17:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Vehicles ply slowly on a road as dust envelopes the sky over New Delhi, on Wednesday.
Vehicles ply slowly on a road as dust envelopes the sky over New Delhi, on Wednesday.(Manvender Vashisht/PTI Photo)

The thick haze enveloping the national capital and its adjoining areas is likely to persist till Friday, officials said on Wednesday, even as the concentration of dust particles doubled from the levels seen the evening before. 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 third consecutive day

Data provided by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) showed that the PM10 level in Delhi had shot up to 823ug/m3 around 7pm on Wednesday, eight times more than the permissible limit. The permissible limit for PM10 is 100ug/m3, with anything above 500ug/m3 being considered an emergency or severe+ category.

PM10, or particulate matter 10, is a measure of pollution that describes inhalable particles with diameters that are generally 10 micrometers and smaller.

The level of PM2.5 also shot up throughout the day and stood at 211ug/m3 around 7 pm. The permissible limit is 60ug/m3. It was, however, still below the severe level of 250ug/m3.

“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.

First Published: Jun 13, 2018 22:59 IST