Air qual­ity im­proves sig­nif­i­cantly but stays se­vere

Millennium Post - - City - SAYAN­TAN GHOSH

NEW DELHI: Delhi’s pol­lu­tion level re­mained ‘se­vere’ for the sec­ond day as a thick haze en­gulfed the na­tional cap­i­tal in early hours of Fri­day. How­ever, the au­thor­i­ties said there was a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in the air qual­ity com­pared to Thurs­day. Ac­cord­ing to the Cen­tral Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Board (CPCB), the over­all air qual­ity in­dex (AQI) stood at 426 which falls in the ‘se­vere’ cat­e­gory.

How­ever, the Cen­tre­run Sys­tem of Air Qual­ity and Weather Fore­cast­ing And Re­search (SAFAR) said the air qual­ity of the city has “im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly”. Ac­cord­ing to SAFAR, the air qual­ity is ex­pected im­prove fur­ther and will be­come ‘very poor’ by af­ter­noon and will im­prove fur­ther by Sat­ur­day.

SAFAR said the con­tri­bu­tion of PM2.5 in PM10 which was 75 per cent on Thurs­day (against nor­mal 55 per cent) has also been re­duc­ing.

“The Delhi Air Qual­ity has im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly since yes­ter­day (8 Nov) but the re­cov­ery is slow due to low sur­face wind speed and it con­tin­ued to be in the se­vere cat­e­gory. Lat­est SAFAR model re­sults show a move­ment of cold front car­ry­ing heavy air mass to­wards Delhi re­gion but with low wind speed at in­tru­sion level,” noted the SAFAR of­fi­cial.

The of­fi­cials added that there is a pos­si­bil­ity that wind speed nay pick up at the up­per level, late in the night and push the level of pol­lu­tion and keep it in the se­vere zone on Sat­ur­day with in­tense fog which will fur­ther help in trap­ping the pol­lu­tants. The tem­per­a­ture is likely to cool down. As per the satel­lite images, heavy fire counts were recorded in the last 24 hours but presently the con­tri­bu­tion of stub­ble fire emis­sions is mar­ginal as up­per winds are Northerly.

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’. AQI above 500 falls in the ‘se­vere-plus emer­gency’ cat­e­gory. Delhi’s air qual­ity on Thurs­day went off the charts to ‘se­vere plus’ emer­gency cat­e­gory as smog caused due to smoke from fire­crack­ers en­gulfed the na­tional cap­i­tal. The over­all AQI on Thurs­day recorded in the “se­vere plus emer­gency” cat­e­gory at 642, ac­cord­ing to the data by SAFAR.

‘The sharp spike in pol­lu­tion on Thurs­day was caused by ram­pant burn­ing of fire­crack­ers that had led to the for­ma­tion of a smoky layer across the na­tional cap­i­tal and dras­ti­cally re­duced vis­i­bil­ity, au­thor­i­ties said. Mean­while, the Delhi gov­ern­ment has banned the en­try of trucks in the Cap­i­tal for three days. The of­fi­cials said that as the wind speed is low the ef­fect of the ban is yet to come.

PTI

A man walks across a field en­gulfed in thick haze (file pic)

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