Delhi-NCR air quality ‘poor’, may deteriorate tomorrow

A truck sprays water to curb dust pollution in Delhi on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: SushilKumarVerma

The air quality of Delhi, Gurugram, and Noida was in the ‘poor’ category on Saturday, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The Capital’s air quality is expected to be in the ‘poor’ category on Sunday too, and then deteriorate on Monday, said government-run monitoring agency SAFAR.

“The AQI (air quality index) is likely to improve and be in the lower end of the ‘poor’ to ‘moderate’ category on Sunday. Calm surface winds and low night-time boundary layer height is likely to cause adverse dispersion condition for a few days from November 23,” read a statement by SAFAR.

The AQI of Delhi was 251 on Saturday, as per CPCB’s 4 p.m. bulletin, which is an average of the past 24 hours. The values for Gurugram and Noida were 256 and 231 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’’.

Moderate speed of surface winds helped air quality of Delhi to be in the ‘poor’ category on Saturday and it is likely to help to improve it further to lower end of poor to moderate category on Sunday.

But boundary layer wind direction was north-westerly, which is favourable for the effect of stubble burning in neighbouring States to be felt in Delhi.

The contribution of stubble burning in neighbouring States to PM2.5 level in Delhi was estimated to be only 13% on Saturday.

Central Vista project

Meanwhile, experts have raised questions about trees being uprooted (for transplantation) near Parliament as part of the Central Vista redevelopment project.

“The government is proceeding with tree felling despite issues of land use, environment and lived heritage pending final judgment of the Supreme Court. The failures of transplantation, validity of number of trees [affected by the project] as a tree census of Delhi is pending, and non-transparency of permissions are big questions that have been repeatedly raised before the government in public and in the court. However, none of this has prevented the government to fell and transport trees during the night,” said Kanchi Kohli, senior researcher at the Centre for Policy Research.

C.R. Babu, professor emeritus at Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems of Delhi University, said that it will be difficult for trees to survive when they are transplanted during winter and survival rate will be less.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 1:11:59 AM |

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