Delhi’s air quality turns very poor
This is the second time that air quality touched ‘very poor’ with an AQI reading of 360 in Delhi this season (post-monsoon). On October 15, the AQI had turned ‘very poor’ for the first time with a reading of 312Updated: Oct 23, 2020, 13:20 IST
Delhi’s air quality plunged into the ‘very poor’ zone on Friday morning.
At 7am, the AQI reading was 360, in the higher end of the ‘very poor’ zone. This is the second time that air quality touched ‘very poor’ in Delhi this season (post-monsoon). On October 15, the city’s air quality had turned ‘very poor’ for the first time with an AQI reading of 312.
The city’s overall AQI reading was 296 on Thursday. Government agencies had forecast that the air quality would deteriorate on October 23-24. They said that calm-wind conditions would prevail, which would not allow the pollutants to disperse in the atmosphere.
Measures to deal with ‘very poor’ air quality under the winter phase of the Graded Response Action Plan (Grap)—a round-the-year plan to combat air pollution in Delhi-NCR—such as stopping the use of diesel generator (DG) sets had already kicked in from October 15.
Scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that calm-wind conditions refer to the wind speed reading being zero.
“This is a usual phenomenon for October-November, which is when air quality deteriorates. Some improvement is likely around October 26 when wind speed may pick up,” said a senior IMD scientist.
Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai had on Thursday blamed stubble-burning in neighbouring Haryana and Punjab as the major reason behind the plunge in air quality in Delhi.