Delhi’s air quality in ‘very poor’ category

The air quality of Delhi and Noida deteriorated to the upper end of the “very poor” category on Tuesday and that of Gurugram was in the “poor” category, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.

The air quality of the Capital is likely to slightly improve to the lower end of the “very poor” category on Wednesday, said government-run monitoring agency SAFAR.

In a related development, Environment Minister Gopal Rai urged the Commission on Air Quality Management to direct other States to use a bio-decomposer, which had been used in Delhi to treat stubble, and thus, reduce air pollution.

“The commission should make this technique mandatory for all the States such as Punjab, Haryana, U.P., and Rajasthan. This will stop stubble burning and also help the farmers to develop the quality of farmland from the produced manure,” Mr. Rai said.

He also said that due to massive stubble burning, which affected the air quality of Delhi in the past few days, the COVID-19 situation in the Capital has also “significantly worsened”.

Air pollution of the “very poor” category can cause “respiratory illness on prolonged exposure”, according to the government.

The AQI of Delhi was 379 on Tuesday, as per CPCB’s 4 p.m. bulletin, which is an average of the past 24 hours. The values for Gurugram and Noida were 296 and 396 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 AQI deteriorated on Tuesday as the surface winds were calm, which do not aid in dispersion of pollutants. Also, the boundary layer winds were moderate, which helps in bringing pollution from stubble burning in neighbouring States to the city. The contribution of stubble burning in neighbouring States to PM2.5, a chief pollutant, in Delhi was estimated to be only 5% on Tuesday. Also, the number of fire counts in neighbouring States were 189, as per SAFAR.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 10:13:29 AM |

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