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Home / Delhi News / Delhi’s ‘very poor’ air quality may slip into ‘severe’ zone today

Delhi’s ‘very poor’ air quality may slip into ‘severe’ zone today

Scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the wind speed was slow throughout Thursday and is expected to remain so by Friday afternoon which will push the air quality into the ‘severe’ zone.

delhi Updated: Nov 22, 2019 10:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Vehicles in a parking lot during haze and smoggy weather at Shastri Park in New Delhi, on Thursday, November 21, 2019.
Vehicles in a parking lot during haze and smoggy weather at Shastri Park in New Delhi, on Thursday, November 21, 2019. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
         

The air quality in Delhi continued to deteriorate, settling into the ‘very poor’ category on Thursday and is likely to become ‘severe’ by Friday. By Thursday evening, air quality monitoring stations at several places such as Nehru Nagar, Dwarka, Rohini, Bawana and Anand Vihar had already been showing readings under the ‘severe’ zone.

Experts, however, said after a long spell of crop residue burning affecting Delhi’s air, local sources started acting up on Thursday. The contribution of crop stubble burning was negligible on Thursday, and it is expected to go down further on Friday, they said.

Scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the wind speed was slow throughout Thursday and is expected to remain so by Friday afternoon which will push the air quality into the ‘severe’ zone.

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“The wind speed will remain low till Friday afternoon, after which it will start picking up,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre.

He said pollution levels will start going down from Saturday. A western disturbance has started approaching Delhi and as a result of which pollutants will get dispersed over the weekend. There is also a forecast of light rain on Tuesday.

“Generally light rain and low wind speed becomes a catalyst for deterioration of air quality. But on Tuesday, the winds will also be stronger and pollution will be comparatively lower,” he added.

System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the ministry of earth science’s weather and air quality monitoring centre, forecast said on Thursday that the share of crop stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana was 5%. This is likely to reach 4% on Friday.

A SAFAR scientist said on Thursday the pollution of Delhi came mainly from local sources.

“There was an accumulation of pollution from local sources. This means that because of low wind speed, the outlet of pollutants was not as fast as the inlet, thus the equilibrium was not maintained,” the SAFAR scientist said.

Meanwhile, the education department issued an advisory to all heads of all schools to follow guidelines set by the health department on air pollution.

The Directorate General of Health Services had issued a public health advisory earlier this month asking people to remain indoors, consult doctors in case of breathlessness or chest discomfort, use masks and public transport, among other things.

The health department also asked vulnerable population — including elderly, children below five years, pregnant women and persons with poor nutritional status — to “strictly avoid outdoor physical activities and remain indoors and keep activity levels low to protect health from pollution.”