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Delhi pollution: After 'severe' level, air quality in national capital may enter 'emergency' zone today

Delhi air pollution today: Experts say a spike in pollution level can be attributed to a significant decline in wind speed and incidents of stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | November 13, 2019 | Updated 10:03 IST
Delhi pollution: After 'severe' level, air quality in national capital may enter 'emergency' zone today
Delhi air pollution: After a brief relief last week, Delhi has seen a spike in pollution level since Monday.

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".

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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.

Also read: Delhi pollution: Air quality index touches 'severe' level at most stations; Noida's Sector 62 records highest AQI of 714

Madhavan Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, also tweeted, saying "forecast (green) suggests air quality in severe+ category by Nov 14 (sic)."

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.

Also read: Delhi pollution: National capital struggles for fresh air as AQI touches 'severe' level again

Here's a look at AQI level in Delhi-NCR today

Sector-62 area, Noida

Sector-16(A) area, Faridabad

Knowledge Park-III, Greater Noida

RK Puram, Delhi

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

Also read: Delhi's post-Diwali air quality better than last year but worse than 2017

Also read: Delhi pollution: NASA images show spike in stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana

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