City’s air fore­cast for to­day re­mains se­vere

As per SAFAR, air qual­ity in the na­tional Cap­i­tal will con­tinue to re­main in the se­vere cat­e­gory as the smoke from fire­works would grad­u­ally ag­gra­vate

DNA (Delhi) - - FRONT PAGE - DNA Cor­re­spon­dent cor­re­spon­dent@dnain­dia.net

New Delhi: Peo­ple in Delhi and Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion con­tin­ued set­ting alight crack­ers the day af­ter Di­wali on Thurs­day, spar­ing lit­tle con­cern for a top court or­der as well as the air they breathe. On Fri­day the air qual­ity in­dex swung down to 423 in an “improve­ment” from 574 the day be­fore. Both the num­bers mean the air is ‘severely’ bad. And it is likely to stay as such af­fairs till atur­day, ac­cord­ing to fore­casts.

Late last month, the Supreme Court had re­stricted burst­ing of crack­ers to a twohour win­dow be­tween 8 pm and 10 pm on the day of Di­wali. But Del­hi­ites vi­o­lated the or­der, as did sur­round­ing Noida, Ghazi­abad and Greater Noida. At the same time, Twit­ter was full of peo­ple grous­ing about the ter­ri­ble air and the tran­gres­sions.

SAFAR, or Sys­tem of Air Qual­ity and Weather Fore­cast­ing And Re­search, an ini­tia­tive un­der the Min­istry of Earth Sciences, siad the air qual­ity would con­tinue to be ‘se­vere’ un­til Satur­day, as smoke from fire­works lingers in the air. Farm­ers burn­ing paddy and wheat stub­ble on their fields in neigh­bour­ing states would only ag­gra­vate the qual­ity of air in the city, the re­search said.

As Del­hi­ites con­tin­ued burst­ing crack­ers on Thurs­day night Delhi’s air qual­ity con­tin­ued to re­main in “se­vere” cat­e­gory on the sec­ond day even af­ter Di­wali. The air qual­ity in­dex was recorded at 421 which falls in the se­vere cat­e­gory. Delhi En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Im­ran Hus­sain on Fri­day met of­fi­cials in or­der to dis­cuss the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing air qual­ity. Hotspots like Bawana, Anand Vi­har, Mundka, North Cam­pus, Dwarka con­tin­ued to re­main in a se­vere cat­e­gory.

As per Sys­tem of Air Qual­ity and Weather Fore­cast­ing And Re­search (SAFAR), the air qual­ity in the na­tional Cap­i­tal will con­tinue to re­main in the se­vere cat­e­gory as the smoke from fire­works would grad­u­ally ag­gra­vate and even the stub­ble burn­ing in neigh­bour­ing states would di­rectly have an im­pact on the air qual­ity of the cap­i­tal. Delhi’s air qual­ity showed “sig­nif­i­cant” improve­ment as com­pared to Thurs­day when it went off the charts to the “se­vere plus emer­gency” cat­e­gory.

On Fri­day the AQI was recorded in the se­vere cat­e­gory at 421. Satel­lite im­ages showed heavy fire counts recorded in the last 24 hour and the lat­est SAFAR model re­sults shows a move­ment of cold front car­ry­ing heavy air mass to­wards Delhi re­gion, SAFAR said.

Elab­o­rat­ing on it, the weather fore­cast sys­tem said the air in the sur­round­ing stub­ble-burn­ing ar­eas is al­ready heavy due to in­creased mois­ture and pol­lu­tants. This heavy air will travel to­wards Delhi, where a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion ex­ists, in the next 24 hours. This com­bined ef­fect might add to the pol­lu­tion woes.”There is a pos­si­bil­ity that the wind may pick up at the up­per level, late in the night and push the level of pol­lu­tion and keep it in se­vere zone to­mor­row with in­ten­si­fied fog which will fur­ther

trap the pol­lu­tants,” it said.

Hus­sain met of­fi­cials of the En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry to dis­cuss the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing air qual­ity and plan of ac­tion if the air qual­ity re­mains haz­ardous, of­fi­cials said. The Supreme Court-ap­pointed En­vi­ron­ment Pol­lu­tion (Pre­ven­tion and Con­trol) Au­thor­ity on Thurs­day said it was closely mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion and if the pol­lu­tion shows an in­creas­ing trend then emer­gency mea­sures will be im­posed in the na­tional cap­i­tal. The emer­gency mea­sures would be im­ple­mented as pre­scribed un­der the Graded Re­sponse Ac­tion Plan (GRAP). Un­der the GRAP, strin­gent ac­tions are im­ple­mented based on the air qual­ity of the city. (with agency in­put)

—BB YA­DAV/DNA

Jan­tar Man­tar en­gulfed in heavy smoke on Fri­day

—BB YA­DAV/DNA & PTI

Heavy smog due to smoke from fire­crack­ers clouds the Delhi sky , Man wears pol­lu­tion pro­tec­tion mask

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