Air quality back in moderate, Manesar sees satisfactory air for first time this month
The air quality in the city improved significantly on Friday and entered into the moderate category of the air quality index, for the first time in seven days week. On Friday, Gurugram’s air recorded 107 on the Central Pollution Control Board’s daily AQI bulletin. This is down from 276 (indicating poor air) the previous day. Gurugram on Friday remained the least polluted among major NCR cities, although significant improvements in air quality were seen across the region, with Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Noida all recording moderate air as well.
The neighbouring township of Manesar, on the other hand, saw satisfactory air for the first time this month, recording 79 on the CPCB’s AQI bulletin. Experts and officials said this was due to strong winds blowing from north and north-west of Delhi, which touched up to 16kmph in some parts on Thursday afternoon. “Manesar, which lies west of Gurugram, has seen favourable influence of winds. If you look at cities to the east, they would have been less influenced by these winds. Like Ghaziabad, which recorded the highest AQI of 166,” said Sachin Panwar, a city-based air quality scientist. Delhi meanwhile, recorded 137 on the AQI, while Noida was at 125 and Faridabad at 134.
As per the early air quality warning system for Delhi-NCR, “Air quality improved significantly owing to strong winds during both day and night. The strong winds — highly favourable for dispersion of pollutants — will continue. The predominant surface wind is likely to be coming from north-west with wind speed touching up to 18 kmph in the afternoon/evening and mainly clear sky on November 27.”
Official forecasts peg Gurugram’s AQI for Saturday at 226, in the poor category.
Kuldeep Singh, regional officer, HSPCB, said that cleaner winds are now blowing into the NCR region from the north and north-west, especially since farm fire counts have significantly shrunk this week. “Stubble burning season is now behind us. If farm fires were still ongoing, we would have far worse pollution levels,” Singh said, adding that air quality is likely to deteriorate further by early next week, with wind speeds expected to drop to about 6kmph per hour.
The minimum temperature of Gurugram settled at 10.5 degrees Celsius on Friday, lower than the previous day’s reading of 11 degrees Celsius. The city recorded a maximum temperature of 25 degrees Celsius on Thursday, more than 24 degrees Celsius the day prior. Increased penetration of sunlight and clear skies helped push up the daytime temperature, with dispersal of pollutants occurring through the afternoon, as evidenced by data from the city’s official air quality monitors.
At Vikas Sadan, for example, the concentration of PM2.5 pollutants was at 167ug/m3 at 10am, but had cleared up to 48ug/m3 by 4pm. At the official monitor in Sector 51, which typically records higher pollution levels than any other monitor in Gurugram, the concentration of PM2.5 fell from 138ug/m3 at 11am to 56ug/m3 at 5pm, with this specific monitor recording an average AQI of 92 for the day (in the satisfactory category of the AQI).
As per the IMD’s seven-day forecast, the maximum temperature will hover around 25 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature is expected to stay at 10 degrees in Gurugram, throughout the next week.