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Delhi pollution back in ‘very poor’ category, officials say PM level increasing

The AQI in Delhi increased from 299 at 8pm on Tuesday night to 303 at 8.30am on Wednesday morning. IMD officials say particulate matter — PM 10 and PM 2.5 — have increased in the air.

delhi Updated: Nov 29, 2017 10:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Delhi pollution,Delhi air quality,AQI
The minimum temperature in the city was recorded at 9 degree Celsius on Wednesday. According to IMD website, the sky will remain clear for two days, however, shallow fog may return on Friday. (Sushil Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Pollution levels in Delhi were back in the ‘very poor’ category during the morning hours on Wednesday with air quality index (AQI) — a measure of the level of pollutants — reading 303 at 8.30am. The AQI had dropped to 299 at 8pm Tuesday after registering very poor levels of 362 on Monday.

Though the decline has only been by a few points, officials at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) say the particulate matter — PM 10 and PM 2.5 — have increased.

PM 10 was recorded at 335 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre ) and PM 2.5 was 201 µg/m3 at 8.30am.

The air quality of Delhi had deteriorated on Saturday afternoon but improved again on Monday. Experts said that the wind picked up speed, helping the pollutants to disperse faster. “As the wind speed increased, it flushed out pollutants and moisture. With a clear sky and the sun shining brightly, the mixing height increased, allowing the pollutants to disperse faster,” said D Saha, head of the air quality laboratory at Central Pollution Control Board.

Officials said areas close to the Delhi Technical University (DTU) had the worst air quality on Wednesday, with the monitoring station recording PM 2.5 level at 497. The other areas which had severe pollution level were DTU, Anand Vihar, and RK Puram.

The Delhi government on Monday had issued a health advisory urging schools to avoid outdoor activities during morning following predictions that air pollution might rise over the next three days. The government has also advised citizens to avoid going out for morning walks and polluted zones during peak hours.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperature in the city was recorded at 9 degree Celsius on Wednesday. According to IMD website, the sky will remain clear for two days, however, shallow fog may return on Friday.

The maximum temperature may hover around 24 degree Celsius.

The visibility in the morning was affected due to mist occurrence, said a Met official. The low visibility slightly also affected train movements. “25 trains arriving late, 12 rescheduled & 1 cancelled due to decreased visibility/operational reasons. #Delhi,” news agency ANI tweeted.

First Published: Nov 29, 2017 10:30 IST