Delhi air quality slightly better, but still ‘poor’
The pollution levels recorded at Delhi’s Lodhi road on Wednesday morning showed PM 10 level at 289, which is ‘poor’ category and PM 2.5 level at 325 in ‘very poor’ category.
Late night winds and rain on Wednesday brought some relief for Delhiites from the toxic air quality that was in ‘severe’ category on Tuesday.
The pollution levels recorded at Lodhi road on Wednesday morning showed PM 10 level at 289, which is ‘poor’ category and PM 2.5 level at 325 in ‘very poor’ category.
Interestingly, scientists blamed the current bout of pollution on local activities and not stubble burning in parts of Punjab and Haryana. The upper level winds -- on which pollutants from stubble burning are borne -is now coming mainly from the south-easterly direction, which means it isn’t bringing in any pollutants from Haryana and Punjab.
The scientists blamed construction activities, vehicles and road dust, with the situation exacerbated by low wind speed and high relative humidity.
That means the Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) decisions to relax certain bans may have directly contributed to Tuesday’s spike in pollutants in the air.
The EPCA had on Monday relaxed bans on construction, entry of trucks, and the operation of industries using coal and biomass.
Scientists from government agencies, however, blamed the slight rain on Monday morning for the deterioration.
“While we expected that the rain would help bring down pollution, it was so sporadic and scarce that it pushed up the moisture levels. The high relative humidity increased the holding capacity of the air and the pollutants got trapped. The low wind speed aggravated the conditions,” said a scientist from Safar, which is a Union government-run pollution forecasting wing.