The air quality of Delhi inched closer to the ‘very poor’ category on Thursday while Noida’s slipped to the ‘very poor’ category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. The air was slightly better in Gurugram, but remained in the ‘poor’ category.
Delhi’s air quality is expected to remain in the ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ category for the next two days owing to slow surface winds, as per government-run monitoring agency SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research).
“The overall Air Quality Index [AQI] of Delhi was in the ‘poor’ category as of today [Thursday] morning. Calm surface wind conditions started over the Delhi region which will lead to low ventilation, and hence deterioration of AQI is predicted. It is forecast that the air quality will be in the ‘poor’ to marginally ‘very poor’ category on October 23 and 24,” SAFAR said in a statement.
The AQI of Delhi was 296 and the values for Gurugram and Noida were 215 and 308 respectively, as per CPCB’s 4 p.m. bulletin on Thursday, which is an average of the past 24 hours.
Reading at 10 p.m.
By 10 p.m., the air quality of Delhi was 321 and that of Noida was 339.
The stubble burning fire counts around Haryana, Punjab, and border regions of Delhi increased to 1,428 on Wednesday from 849 on Tuesday, as per SAFAR. The contribution of stubble burning in neighbouring States to PM2.5, a chief pollutant, in Delhi is estimated to be around 9% on Thursday.
The local wind speed is “highly” unfavourable and the wind direction in neighbouring States is favourable for a “moderate” transport of pollutants to Delhi due to stubble burning.
Campaign picks up
In a related development, Environment Minister Gopal Rai and AAP MLAs took part in the “red light on, gaadi off” campaign at Tilak Marg intersection to reduce air pollution in the city. “The campaign will be started in all the 70 legislative assemblies of Delhi from October 26.There is an appeal to the residents that they should take part in the mega campaign,” Mr. Rai said.