Delhi Air Qual­ity Shift­ing Be­tween ‘Poor’, ‘Very Poor’

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: Delhi’s air qual­ity on Wed­nes­day os­cil­lated be­tween "poor" and "very poor" cat­e­gories as au­thor­i­ties warned of se­vere de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of air qual­ity even if "par­tial toxic crack­ers" are burned com­pared to last year.

The over­all air qual­ity in­dex (AQI) was recorded at 281, which falls in the "poor" cat­e­gory, ac­cord­ing the Cen­tral Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Board (CPCB) data. The Cen­tre-run Sys­tem of Air Qual­ity Fore­cast­ing and Re­search (SAFAR) recorded the over­all air qual­ity in­dex at 319, which falls in "very poor" cat­e­gory. Farid­abad, Ghazi­abad, Gur­gaon, Noida and Greater Noida recorded "poor" qual­ity air, ac­cord­ing to the CPCB.

Eleven ar­eas of Delhi recorded "very poor" air qual­ity while 24 ar- eas recorded "poor" air qual­ity, ac­cord­ing to the CPCB data. 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 PM2.5 (par­ti­cles in the air with a di­am­e­ter of less than 2.5 mi­crome­tres) level was recorded at143 while the PM10 (par­ti­cles in the air with a di­am­e­ter of less than 10 mi­crome­tres) was recorded at 281 in Delhi, ac­cord­ing to the CPCB data. The SAFAR has fore­casted worse qual­ity air for Wed­nes­day evening and Thurs­day. "The high­est lev­els of PM10 and PM2.5 are ex­pected be­tween 11AM to 3AM on Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day. Air Qual­ity will be bad on Thurs­day and start to im­prove from Fri­day even if par­tial toxic crack­ers as com­pared to 2017 is burned," the gov­ern­men­trun agency warned. Ac­cord­ing to the SAFAR, both stub­ble burn­ing in sur­round­ing states of Delhi and fire­crack­ers are caus­ing de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of air qual­ity in the na­tional cap­i­tal.

"The fire counts are seen to be very high but it is a com­bi­na­tion of stub­ble burn­ing and wide­spread fire­crack­ers in that re­gion and need not be con­fused with stub­ble only fire," the SAFAR said in a re- port on Wed­nes­day. It also said that the com­bi­na­tion of sev­eral rapidly chang­ing weather pa­ram­e­ters is play­ing a key role in con­trol­ling the air pol­lu­tion at this time.

Delhi's air qual­ity is ex­pected to de­te­ri­o­rate to "se­vere plus emer­gency" cat­e­gory af­ter Di­wali, SAFAR said.

"Even if 50% of the to­tal load of toxic fire­crack­ers as com­pared to Di­wali 2017 is added, the pre­vail­ing weather con­di­tions will ag­gra­vate the high smoke level and make air qual­ity to per­sist in se­vere range for at least two days on Novem­ber 8 and Novem­ber 9," it said in a re­port.

SAFAR has also pre­dicted that the PM10 con­cen­tra­tion of Delhi is ex­pected to reach 575 and PM2.5 to 378 on Thurs­day, record­ing the worst air qual­ity of the year if fire crack­ers are burnt, it said.

The In­dian In­sti­tute of Trop­i­cal Me­te­o­rol­ogy said the winds com­ing from north-west­erly di­rec­tion is bring­ing the in­flu­ence of biomass burn­ing to Delhi-NCR which may con­tinue up to Thurs­day morn­ing. "The in­crease in PM2.5 con­cen­tra­tion is due to change in wind di­rec­tion, de­crease in wind speeds and con­tri­bu­tion from biomass burn­ing," the IITM said.

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