Stubble-burning to worsen Delhi’s air
Overall pollution in ‘severe’ category
Delhi’s pollution level remained in the ‘severe’ category for the second day, even as authorities warned that the already toxic situation caused by smoke from fireworks is likely to aggravate further due to intensified stubble-burning in neighbouring States.
The overall air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 421 which falls in the ‘severe’ category, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) recorded the AQI at 453.
Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida recorded air quality in the “severe” category, while Gurgaon registered “very poor” An MCD worker sprays water on the road to settle dust as part of measures against pollution in New Delhi on Friday
air quality. In the NCR, the highest AQI was recorded in Faridabad at 460.
SAFAR said the city’s air quality has “improved significantly” since Thursday, but warned that the already toxic situation caused by
smoke from fireworks is likely to aggravate further due to intensified stubbleburning in neighbouring States.
“As per satellite images, heavy fire counts were recorded in the last 24 hour and the latest SAFAR model results show a movement of cold front carrying heavy air mass towards Delhi region,” SAFAR said. Elaborating on it, it 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.
Twenty-six areas in Delhi recorded ‘severe’ air quality, while seven areas recorded ‘very poor’ air quality, according to CPCB data.
On Friday, the PM2.5 (particulate in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) level was recorded at 303 μgm-3, six times the permissible limit.
The PM10 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres) level was recorded four times the permissible limit at 440 μgm-3, according to SAFAR.
Goods vehicles barred
Over 400 heavy and medium goods vehicles were turned away from Delhi’s borders due to a ban on their entry, an official said. The entry of heavy and medium goods vehicles into the national capital was banned for three days beginning 11 pm on Thursday night.
According to Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Alok Kumar, 1,008 vehicles were allowed entry into the city from 11 pm on Thursday till 6 am on Friday because they were carrying essential goods.
As many as 445 vehicles were returned from Delhi borders, he added.