Air quality remains poorUpdated: Oct 18, 2020, 22:55 IST
Air quality in the city remained in the ‘poor’ category on Sunday, with Gurugram recording an air quality index (AQI) of 273, which was slightly better than the 280 reported on Saturday, as per the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) daily bulletin.
The average concentration of ultrafine particulate matter (PM 2.5) in the air stood at 266 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3), while a maximum of 327ug/m3 was recorded by the air quality monitor at Vikas Sadan. The air quality is expected to deteriorate further due to an expected increase in farm stubble fires.
The Graded Response Action Plan, to check the rising air pollution, is already in place, as directed by the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA), since October 15.
Air quality in neighbouring Faridabad stood at 277, while the AQI in Dharuhera was 287, as per CPCB data.
An AQI between 401 and 500 is considered ‘severe’, between 301 and 400 as ‘very poor’, between 201 and 300 as ‘poor’, between 101 and 200 as ‘moderate’, between 51 and 100 as ‘satisfactory’ and between 0 and 50 as ‘good’.
A forecast on Sunday by the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting And Research (Safar) stated that synergized stubble burning fire counts from Haryana, Punjab and neighbouring regions has increased, with 1,230 incidents reported. “Though fire emission has increased and transport-level wind direction is also favourable, an increase in transport level, wind speed, as well as local Delhi surface winds, are likely to maintain the stubble contribution in Delhi PM2.5 around the same level,” it said.
Pollution department officials said that weather conditions and a check on farm fires over the next week will play a key role in the quality of air. “If the weather is good and wind speed is high, the AQI will improve but the farm fires also play a role in wind quality and these need to be curbed. Locally, steps are being taken to check pollution by various agencies,” Kuldeep Singh, regional officer, Haryana State Pollution Control Board.