Delhi’s pollution levels peak at 14-16 times safe limits

Smog-covered Delhi after Diwali night. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar  

Delhi breathed in air polluted with particulate matter of up to 14 to 16 times the safe limits on Diwali night.

As expected, the levels of air pollution remained “severe”, the highest warning as per the National Air Quality Index, throughout the night. Lack of wind led to little to no dispersal of firecracker emission, as was forecast.

At Anand Vihar, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s data showed that the concentration of PM2.5 (particles less than or 2.5 micrometers in diameter) peaked at a whopping 883 micrograms per cubic metre. That is more than 14 times the standard of 60 micrograms per cubic metre. Anand Vihar was also the most polluted when it came to PM10 (particles with diameter of 10 micrometers or less), with 1,680 micrograms per cubic metre being recorded as the peak at 3.30 a.m. on Monday. That is more than 16 times the safe limit of 100 micrograms per cubic metre.

In West Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh, the level of PM2.5 and PM10 peaked at over ten times and 15 times the respective standards. R.K. Puram in South Delhi was just as polluted, with PM2.5 peaking at over 12 times the standard and PM10 at over 14 times the safe level.

Hourly concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 for R.K. Puram from Sunday 9.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. are not available on the DPCC site as of Monday morning.

Mandir Marg in Central Delhi usually records the lowest pollution levels of the DPCC’s monitoring stations, but on Sunday night it too saw a whopping increase in particulate matter. The level of PM2.5 peaked at eight times the standard at 480 micrograms per cubic metre. The peak for PM10 was also over seven times the standard.

Monitoring station

Peak PM2.5

Peak PM10

Anand Vihar

883 (2.30 a.m.)

1,680 (3.30 a.m.)

Punjabi Bagh

678 (2.30 a.m.)

1,560 (10.30 p.m.)

Mandir Marg

480 (2.30 a.m.)

715 (2.30 a.m.)

R.K. Puram

748 (2.30 a.m.)

1,440 (2.30 a.m.)

IGI Airport

Not available

576 (8 a.m.)


PM 2.5: 60
PM 10: 100

Unit: micrograms per cubic metre
Source: Delhi Pollution Control Committee
Data analysed: From 8 a.m. October 30 to 8 a.m. October 31

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 5:37:56 AM |

Next Story