Air quality slips back into ‘very poor’ category
The city’s air quality slipped back into the ‘very poor’ category on Tuesday, recording an air quality index (AQI) reading of 306 on the Central Pollution Control Board’s daily bulletin, a deterioration from Monday’s AQI reading of 258, which was in the ‘poor’ category.
The level of ultrafine particulate matter having a diameter of 2.5 microns or less (PM 2.5), the city’s primary pollutant, was 267.25 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) on Tuesday, as per data recorded by CPCB’s air quality monitor at Vikas Sadan in Sector 11. The PM2.5 level was more than four times the permissible limit of 60µg/m3.
According to the early air quality warning system for the National Capital Region (NCR), air quality is likely to deteriorate further on Wednesday and Thursday, to the upper end of the ‘very poor’ category, and expected to persist till Friday.
A significant increase in the number of stubble fire points across Punjab, Haryana and UP were impacting the air quality of Delhi-NCR, the air quality forecast stated.
According to experts, pollution levels are expected to increase further in the first week of November due to the interplay of factors such as dip in temperature, the prevalence of low-speed winds and stubble burning.
Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) regional forecasting centre in Delhi, said that the low wind speed was unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants. “The wind speed needs to pick up and improve so that pollutants can be dispersed. Stubble burning is affecting the air quality along with other emissions and as the temperature drops further, air quality might deteriorate in the coming weeks,” said Srivastava
On Tuesday, the maximum temperature dropped by two degrees. The city recorded a maximum temperature of 30.1 degrees Celsius, a drop from Monday’s 32.6 degree Celsius. The minimum temperature on Tuesday was recorded at 13.1 degree Celsius. While the minimum temperature is expected to hover in a similar range on Wednesday, the maximum temperature is expected to rise by two degrees and touch 32 degree Celsius as per the India Meteorological Department’s forecast. Clear skies have been predicted till the end of the week, by the IMD.