Air pollution ‘severe’ on 4 of the last 5 days

The air quality of the city was in “severe” category on Wednesday and is likely to slightly improve to the higher-end of the “very poor” category by Thursday, according to government-run monitoring agency System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

The pollution has been in “severe” category for four out of the last five days, including Wednesday, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.

On Wednesday, the average level of PM2.5 — deadly respirable particles — was (421.7 ug/m3) more than seven times the safe limit (60ug/m3) as per Indian standards, in Delhi and NCR at 8 p.m., according to the CPCB. But the level is more than 16 times the safe limit (25 ug/m3) set by the WHO.

“Though the meteorological conditions have become favourable for higher dispersion, an additional source of emission in all likelihood has increased emissions on New Year eve from 8 p.m. onwards peaking from midnight to 1 a.m.,” SAFAR said.

“The additional emissions must be most probably due to crackers, but it could be even be vehicular pollution,” said said Vivek Chattopadhyaya, senior programme manager of Clean Air Programme at Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi.

The city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) on Wednesday was 437, up from Tuesday’s was 387 (very poor), according to the 4 p.m. bulletin of the CPCB, which is the average of the last 24 hours.

”SAFAR model now suggests that under the influence of approaching western disturbance, increased surface winds and improved ventilation, AQI is forecast to improve to the higher end of the “very poor” category by January 2. Further significant improvement in AQI towards the middle end of “very poor” to “poor” category is expecting by January 3,” SAFAR said.

Wednesday’s top three air pollution hotspots in the city are likely to be Vinobapuri, Okhla, and Bawana.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 9:40:51 PM |

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