Delhiites have had some respite from the choking smog in the past couple of days. The air quality improved drastically on the back of strong surface winds over the weekend. However, there might not be much to rejoice as the pollution is expected to increase as the winds weaken.
On Tuesday, the overall AQI in Delhi was at 281 at 9 am, which is at the lower end of the 'poor' category. The air quality was recorded at 215 at IIT Delhi area, which is also at the lower end of the 'poor' spectrum. The AQI near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was recorded at 212, which is also in the same range. However, things are not rosy in Chandni Chowk, where the AQI was at 319 at the same time. It falls in the lower end of the 'very poor' category.
The air quality in Gurugram was significantly better at 197, which is in the 'moderate' category. However, the AQI in Noida was recorded at 284, which is at the higher end of the 'poor' category.
While the air in Delhi-NCR has improved over the past couple of days, agencies believe that it will be back in the 'severe' category by Thursday. The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) wrote to chief secretaries of all the NCR states to increase surveillance and enforcement to control local sources of pollution and stubble burning.
"The IMD has alerted us that the next few days, from Tuesday to Thursday, will have very little wind and ventilation. In this circumstance, dispersion of pollutants will not happen and there is a likelihood that we will slip back to the 'very poor' and even the 'severe' category," said EPCA chairman Dr Bhure Lal in his letter to Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the odd-even scheme would not be extended as the air quality in Delhi-NCR has improved. He had earlier stated that a final decision on odd-even rule extension would be taken on November 18 amid rising pollution levels.