Gurugram least polluted city in NCR for third straight day, may worsen today
Weather analysts said the city’s respite from high pollution levels was only brief as the air quality is expected to fall into the ‘poor’ or the ‘very poor’ category on Wednesday and on Thursday.Updated: Nov 20, 2019 08:05 IST
Air quality in Gurugram was in the ‘moderate’ category for the third consecutive day on Tuesday, with a reading of 125 on the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) Air Quality Index (AQI) bulletin. It was also the least polluted city in the National Capital Region (NCR) for the third straight day, followed by Faridabad at 192.
Delhi recorded an AQI reading of 242 (in the ‘poor’ category) and Noida’s air quality was ‘poor’ at 256 too, as per the CPCB’s bulletin. However, weather analysts said the city’s respite from high pollution levels was only brief as the air quality is expected to fall into the ‘poor’ or the ‘very poor’ category on Wednesday and on Thursday.
Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 levels on Tuesday touched a maximum of only 90ug/m3. The PM2.5 concentrations on Tuesday were lower than those on Monday (102ug/m3). The 24-hour safe standard is 60 ug/m3. PM2.5 levels had, last week, touched 500ug/m3 on at least three days. On Friday, the maximum PM2.5 level was 430ug/m3, followed by 425 ug/m3 on Saturday. The PM2.5 level came down on Sunday to a maximum of 216ug/m3.
Private monitors across the city too recorded ‘moderate’ air quality. At South City 1, the AQI reading on Tuesday evening was 105, with a PM2.5 level of 56ug/m3. At Sector 30, an AQI reading of 182 was recorded in the evening, with PM2.5 level at 58ug/3.
Gurugram’s AQI monitor at Vikas Sadan even recorded a reading of 60 (satisfactory) around 4pm on Tuesday.
The city’s cleaner air can be attributed to wind speed and direction in the city, air quality experts said. “Gurugram is upwind compared to Delhi, Noida, and Ghaziabad. The wind speed in Gurugram is also higher than in the other cities in the NCR. By the time the winds reach Delhi, they slow down, which is why Gurugram has been seeing a better dispersion of pollutants,” Sachin Panwar, city-based air quality expert, said.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the wind speed is expected to be low on Wednesday and Thursday with very little ventilation which could lead to a rise in the AQI. “Thick cloud cover is also expected, which, along with a drop in the temperature, could further worsen pollution levels,” an IMD official said.
The maximum temperature on Tuesday fell to 25.6 degrees Celsius from 27.2 degrees Celsius on Monday. The minimum temperature too fell by a degree on Tuesday to touch 12.5 degrees Celsius. As per the IMD’s forecast, minimum temperature could drop by another degree or two this week, leading to shallow fog in the morning.