Delhiites breathe easy after a month as air quality improves


Last time AQI was in moderate category was on Oct. 19

The air quality of Delhi improved to “moderate” category on Wednesday after more than a month. The air quality index (AQI) is likely to stay in the “moderate” category on Thursday and worsen to “poor” category on Friday, according to government-run monitoring agency System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

“Last time the air quality was in moderate category was on October 19 and since then it has been worse than it. The air quality improved due to light showers in parts of Delhi and strong winds on Wednesday,” said V.K. Shukla, head of air quality management at Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Within safe limit

On Wednesday, the average level of PM2.5 (deadly respirable particles), which is a chief pollutant, was (56.5ug/m3) within the safe limit (60ug/m3) as per Indian standards, in Delhi and NCR at 7 p.m., according to the CPCB. The PM2.5 level has dropped within the safe limit after weeks of heavy air pollution. 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 Wednesday’s level is still more than twice the safe limit (25ug/m3) set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) on Wednesday was 134, down from Tuesday’s 270, according to the 4 p.m. bulletin by the CPCB, which is the average of the past 24 hours.

The contribution of stubble burning in neighbouring States to Delhi’s pollution was 2% on Wednesday and is likely to be 4% on Thursday, which is very less compared to the high of 44% earlier this season, according to SAFAR.

“The SAFAR model forecast suggests AQI is likely to be on the “moderate” category for Thursday. Marginal deterioration to “poor” AQI is forecasted for November 29,” SAFAR said.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2020 9:09:32 PM |

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