Delhi's air quality improves but authorities warn pollution may increase

New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 20, 2018, 08.58 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The Supreme Court appointed Environment Protection Control Authority (EPCA) on Friday held a meeting with Punjab, Haryana and Delhi government officials to discuss the pollution situation in the national capital.

Delhi's air quality improved Friday after rainfall lashed parts of the national capital, but authorities warned that pollution could increase to "dangerous levels" in the next couple of days.

The Supreme Court appointed Environment Protection Control Authority (EPCA) on Friday held a meeting with Punjab, Haryana and Delhi government officials to discuss the pollution situation in the national capital.

An EPCA member said the meeting took stock of the situation and it was decided that special attention would be given to vulnerable hotspots in the city where poor or very poor air quality is observed.

The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was recorded at 276, which falls in the poor category, according to the data from the Central Pollution Control Board.

However, data from the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research showed an AQI of 304, which falls in the very poor category.

An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".

On Wednesday and Thursday, the air quality had deteriorated to the very poor category, alarming authorities who were planning to roll out more stringent measures to combat pollution.

A senior official said rainfall in parts of Delhi on Thursday improved the air quality, cleansing the air of pollutants.

But he warned that the air quality would worsen in the next couple of days, especially the PM2.5 level which is expected to deteriorate to dangerous levels.