Delhi’s air quality deteriorates to ‘severe’ first time this season

This comes after a short-lived respite on Wednesday. The air quality in the national Capital earlier dipped back into the “very poor” category on Thursday morning
On Wednesday, Delhi’s pollution levels had improved marginally and its AQI reading was in the “poor” category for the first time in six days due to the strong winds that blew over the city the previous day.(ANI)
On Wednesday, Delhi’s pollution levels had improved marginally and its AQI reading was in the “poor” category for the first time in six days due to the strong winds that blew over the city the previous day.(ANI)
Updated on Oct 29, 2020 04:56 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent | Edited by Zara Khan

Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) deteriorated to the “severe” category on Thursday for the first time this year, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). At 1pm, Delhi’s average AQI reading was 402, as per data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

This comes after a short-lived respite on Wednesday. The air quality in the national Capital earlier dipped back into the “very poor” category on Thursday with an AQI reading of 381 as per the CPCB data at 7am.

On Wednesday, Delhi’s pollution levels had improved marginally and its AQI reading was in the “poor” category for the first time in six days due to the strong winds that blew over the city the previous day.

Air quality enters the very poor zone between the 301-400 mark and crosses over to the severe zone after exceeding 400. Delhi’s average 24-hour AQI reading was 297 on Wednesday, marginally down from Tuesday’s 312.

On October 23, ten of the 35 monitoring stations across the national Capital showed that the air quality had dipped to the “severe” category.

Thursday’s deterioration in air quality comes a day after the Capital’s average AQI reading had improved to the “poor” category at 297. Pollution levels had gone down for first time in six days due to the strong winds that blew over the city the previous day.

The government’s air quality monitoring and forecasting service Safar said, “Extremely calm surface and boundary layer winds along with the low nighttime boundary layer height resulted in low ventilation, practically stagnant no dispersion condition has resulted in the current situation. The Safar model predicts that AQI is likely to stay in the higher end of the ‘very poor’ category with few locations in the ‘severe’ category for a short period today [Thursday]. AQI is likely to marginally improve and stay in the ‘very poor’ category tomorrow [Friday] and significant improvement to the lower-end ‘very poor’ to ‘poor’ category is forecasted for October 31.”

VK Soni, the head of IMD’s environment monitoring research centre, said air quality was likely to deteriorate further on Thursday. However, he predicted that the city’s air will improve significantly between Friday and Sunday, with wind speeds likely to touch 15kmph on Friday.

“There is a trough formation, which will lead to a significant improvement in wind speed over the Capital and this will lead to better dispersion of pollutants. Till Sunday, the forecast is that we will see an improvement in air,” Soni said.

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