Delhi

Calm winds push Delhi’s AQI to ‘severe’ category

The air quality of Delhi and Noida deteriorated to the “severe” category, while Gurugram almost touched the “very poor” category, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data on Wednesday.

“Winds are forecast to pick up and improve the ventilation condition by Thursday and likely to stay in the lower end of ‘very poor’ category on November 27 and 28,” said a statement by the government-run monitoring agency SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research).

The AQI of Delhi was 413 on Wednesday, up from 379 on Tuesday, as per CPCB’s 4 pm bulletin, which is an average of the past 24 hours. The values for Gurugram and Noida were 299 and 414 respectively.

An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.

The air quality deteriorated on Wednesday mainly due to calm surface winds, which do not aid in dispersion of pollutants. Also, the mixing depth, which is the height of the atmosphere from the ground, up to which the pollutants can be spread out, was also low. This also aids in pollutants getting trapped near the surface.

The contribution of stubble burning in neighbouring States to PM2.5, a chief pollutant, in Delhi was estimated to be only 2% on Wednesday. Also, the number of fire count in neighbouring States were only 63, as per SAFAR.

Earlier in the day, Environment Minister Gopal Rai attacked the BJP and said that their leaders are not helping to reduce air pollution in the city and are only interested in telling lies to the people.

“On one hand the Delhi government is taking measures to fight pollution, the BJP leaders on the other hand are constantly telling lies to the people. No BJP leader is seen participating in any campaign to reduce air pollution, they are just seen playing blame game and doing politics,” Mr. Rai said.

Mr. Rai said that BJP leader Vijay Gupta protested on the streets against the ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ campaign to reduce air pollution and no BJP leader is seen participating in any campaign to curb pollution.

“They are not doing anything to control dust or biomass burning. Today the garbage mountain is burning, but they are busy playing blame games. The people of Delhi are choking since the last 2 months due to stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Delhi. I want to tell the BJP, do something about it. For two months, the BJP’s central government is not doing anything to control it,” Mr. Rai said.

He said that the BJP called a press conference and said that the bio-decomposer solution has not been sprayed on any farmland in Delhi to avoid stubble burning. “What can be a bigger lie than this? You are an Opposition party and it is okay to criticize but there is a limit to spreading lies. The bio-decomposer solution was sprayed on 2,000 acres of land across Delhi after the farmers filled the forms. The Delhi government has the record of the forms filled for spraying the solution on the fields,” the Minister said.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 1:26:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/calm-winds-push-delhis-aqi-to-severe-category/article33180378.ece

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