Dust storm in Oman spells high pollution levels for Delhi
Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) stood at 213 in the ‘poor’ category on Friday. The storm in Oman has led to an increase in particulate matter (PM)10 level shooting up to 275 micrograms per unit (mcpm), against the prescribed safe limit of 100 micrograms per unit.delhi Updated: Aug 04, 2018 08:50 IST
The dust storm from Oman that has partially affected north-western India has spiked pollution levels in the national capital taking it into the ‘poor’ category.
The capital, which had been witnessing relatively good air quality over the past few days, is likely to have more dust pollutants in the air over the weekend, said officials of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Friday.
Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) stood at 213 in the ‘poor’ category on Friday. The storm in Oman has led to an increase in particulate matter (PM)10 level shooting up to 275 micrograms per unit (mcpm), against the prescribed safe limit of 100 micrograms per unit.
According to the CPCB data, PM10 level was at 40.5 mcpm a week ago. The PM10 comprises coarse particles that gets lodged in the upper respiratory tract causing breathing problems. It is one of the major pollutants in Delhi-NCR.
“Storm-like conditions are likely to continue over the next two days in the city. This has increased PM10 concentration in the air. However, there is no reason for panic and, as per the weather forecast, the air will clear soon and rain is likely on Monday,” P Gargava, member secretary, CPCB, said.
Following the alert, the Delhi government has issued an advisory to all construction agencies to ensure dust-control measures are in place.
“All construction agencies have been alerted to step up vigil to ensure dust-control measures are taken at sites. According to the information received, pollution levels are likely to remain the same over next two days,” a Delhi government spokesperson said.
According to officials, a mass of dust is moving towards north-western India and has increased the concentration of dust pollutants in the air.
The weather forecast received from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), stated that light rain is expected between Monday and Tuesday and the sky will remain partly cloudy over the weekend.
“We are still observing the pattern of the storm. It had started in Oman two or three days ago and has subsided to a large extent now,” a senior IMD official said.
Gufran Beig, head of the SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research), said, “This storm is not as severe as the one that hit in June. Air quality will not fall below poor this time.”
First Published: Aug 04, 2018 07:07 IST