The overall air quality of Delhi stayed in “very poor” category on Tuesday, but nine out of 35 monitoring stations recorded “severe” level air pollution by evening. The air quality is expected to improve on Thursday due to western disturbance, said government-run monitoring agency, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
On Tuesday, the average level of PM2.5 — deadly respirable particles, which is a chief pollutant — was (212.1 ug/m3) more than three times the safe limit (60ug/m3) as per Indian standards in Delhi and NCR at 9 p.m., according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). On November 3, the PM2.5 level in Delhi and NCR had hit 625 ug/m3 — more than 10 times the safe limit.
But the level is more than eight times the safe limit (25 ug/m3) set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
People are advised to avoid all outdoor physical activity and keep medicine handy if they suffer from asthma.
“Stop outdoor activity at early morning and after sunset. Avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Go for a short walk instead of a jog and take more breaks. Stop any activity level if you experience any unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing, breathing difficulty, or fatigue,” read an advisory issued by SAFAR on very poor air quality.
Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) on Tuesday was 369, up from Monday’s 343, according to the 4 p.m. bulletin by the CPCB, which is the average of the last 24 hours.
The contribution of stubble burning in neighbouring States to Delhi’s pollution was only 3% on Tuesday, which is very less compared to the high of 44% earlier this season, as per SAFAR.
“However, under the influence of approaching western disturbance, increased wind speed and scattered rainfall is expected by December 12, leading to improvement in AQI towards poor category by December 13. AQI is forecast to touch the lower end of the poor to moderate category by December 13,” SAFAR said.