Air quality in Delhi 'severe', set to enter 'emergency' category today: SAFAR

A visual of smog in Delhi on Wednesday Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 13, 2019, 09.44 AM (IST)

The menace of air pollution has once again caused alarm in the national capital as air quality dipped to "severe" category on Wednesday morning and is expected to enter the 'very severe' or emergency category, according to overall air quality index (AQI).

In Delhi, the overall air quality index docked at 467 at 7:00 AM on Wednesday morning, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

There was no respite for residents in the National Capital Region (NCR) too as the air quality recorded in
Noida, Greater Noida and Faridabad stood at 472, 458 and 441 respectively. Visuals of thick and dense smog were observed in Delhi and its adjoining areas in the morning. 

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SAFAR also added that the air quality is expected to further deteriorate in the next two days and will fall under 'severe plus' category. The worsening situation may improve by November 15.

An AQI in the range of 201 to 300 is considered 'poor', 301-400 'very poor' and 401-500 'severe' and above 500 'severe plus'. 

However, there was a decreasing trend in stubble burning, which is a major contributor to air pollution as per a methodology used by SAFAR.

As per officials in the weather department, Delhi witnessed a temperature of 11.7 degree Celsius on Tuesday morning, its lowest so far this season. 

As the temperature lowers, it becomes easier for the pollutants to mix up and make the air toxic. This phenomenon results in smog, a foggy air which has the presence of pollutants. 

As per the Central Pollution Control Bureau (CPCB), Delhi's overall AQI read 425 at 4 pm and 437 at 9 pm on Tuesday. The levels of PM 2.5, a deadly pollutant that can enter into lungs, breached the emergency mark of 300 micrograms per cubic metre and stood at 337 late on Tuesday. PM 10 was also five times higher than the safe limit of 100 micrograms per cubic metre. 

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The situation of pollution worsened in Delhi yesterday as the Delhi government lifted restrictions on the odd-even scheme due to the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. The odd-even is a rationing scheme where cars with odd and even number plates are allowed to run in the streets on alternate days.

Last week, the apex court pulled up Centre and state governments of northern Indian states for their inability to curb pollution. With the arrival of winter, the situation of air pollution worsens in northern India due to factors such as stubble burning and industrial pollution among others.

Stubble burning is a practice followed by Indian farmers where residues after harvesting are set on fire. The Supreme Court had earlier ordered a complete halt in stubble burning and announced incentives too in order to curb this menace. 

(with inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

The situation of pollution worsened in Delhi yesterday as the Delhi government lifted restrictions on the odd-even scheme due to the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.