Delhi air pollution: Delhi continues to reel under noxious haze after a brief relief last week. The air quality level in most areas of Delhi-NCR remained 'severe' on Wednesday as stubble burning incidents continue unabated in neighbouring states. A fall in the temperature and slow wind speed has made the situation worse, pushing the city's air quality towards the "emergency".
Delhi: Major pollutants PM 2.5 at 500 & PM 10 at 497, both in 'severe' category in Lodhi Road area, according to the Air Quality Index (AQI) data. pic.twitter.com/BOB87hfyOc— ANI (@ANI) November 12, 2019
The government's air quality monitor, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), has said pollution levels in Delhi-NCR can enter the "severe-plus" or "emergency" category on Wednesday. After a brief relief last week, the pollution level started increasing sharply on a day the Delhi government lifted restrictions under its odd-even road rationing scheme in wake of the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev.
Madhavan Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, also tweeted, saying "forecast (green) suggests air quality in severe+ category by Nov 14 (sic)."
To further improve air quality f/c @moesgoi just now developed a unique modeling system at much higher resolution of 400 metre with chemical data assimilation Forecasts at https://t.co/7Kl5ODkwK4 Forecast (green) suggests air quality in severe+ category by 14 Nov @drharshvardhanpic.twitter.com/S93siYirJ6— Madhavan Rajeevan (@rajeevan61) November 12, 2019
According to the Central Pollution Control Bureau (CPCB), overall AQI at all 37 air quality monitoring stations in Delhi recorded air quality in the severe category, with prominent pollutant PM 2.5 showing index value of 425 on Wednesday morning.
Here's a look at AQI level in Delhi-NCR today
Sector-62 area, Noida
Noida: Air Quality Index (AQI) at 472 (severe) in Sector-62 area. pic.twitter.com/g7UwaSFxRV— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 13, 2019
Sector-16(A) area, Faridabad
Knowledge Park-III, Greater Noida
Greater Noida: Air Quality Index (AQI) at 458 (severe) in Knowledge Park-III area. pic.twitter.com/U7Hmgk1kXe— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 13, 2019
RK Puram, Delhi
Delhi: Air Quality Index (AQI) at 447 (Severe category) in RK Puram area. pic.twitter.com/HYOI24ICoO— ANI (@ANI) November 13, 2019
The levels of PM 2.5 -- tiny particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter that can enter deep into the lungs and even the bloodstream -- had shot up to 337 micrograms per cubic metre, breaching its emergency threshold of 300, by 9 pm in Delhi-NCR. In the case of PM2.5, the safe level is 0-60 micrograms per cubic metre. The levels of PM10 increased to 484 micrograms per cubic metre, nearly five times the safe limit of 100 micrograms per cubic metre. An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301-400 'very poor' and 401-500 'severe'. An AQI above 500 falls in the 'severe plus' category.
Experts said the spike in pollution levels can be attributed to a significant decline in wind speed. Incidents of stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab have increased and northwesterly winds have been bringing more farm fire plumes to the Delhi-NCR region. According to SAFAR, the share of stubble-burning accounted for 25 per cent of Delhi's pollution on Tuesday, up from 18 per cent on Monday. "No sudden recovery is expected at least for the next two days and the AQI is likely to deteriorate further towards severe-plus category by tomorrow. The condition may slightly improve by November 15," it said in a report.
Edited by Manoj Sharma with PTI inputs