Delhi's air quality oscillates between poor and very poor; authorities warn of further deterioration

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 22, 2018, 07.29 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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An official said the air quality of Delhi might deteriorate to "severe" category in the coming days as the air becomes heavier and results in the formation of smog.

Delhi's air quality oscillated between "poor" and "very poor" category on October 21 as authorities warned of days of severe pollution ahead.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi at 292, while the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research reported an AQI of 318, 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".

An official said the air quality of Delhi might deteriorate to "severe" category in the coming days as the air becomes heavier and results in the formation of smog.

While Faridabad and Gurgaon recorded "very poor" quality air, Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida reported "poor" air quality.

On October 20, a haze had engulfed the national capital and the worst air quality of this season was recorded at 324.

Anand Vihar, Mundaka, Narela, Dwarka Sector 8, Nehru Nagar and Rohini saw very poor air quality Sunday and were inching towards severe pollution levels, data from the CPCB said.

The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Protection Control Authority (EPCA) on October 19 had held a meeting with officials of the Punjab, Haryana and the Delhi governments to discuss the pollution situation in the national capital.

An EPCA member on October 19 said stock of the situation was taken and it was decided that special attention would be given to vulnerable hotspots where poor or very poor air quality was observed.

The PM2.5 (presence of particles in the air with a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometres) was recorded at 143. The PM2.5 also called "fine particulates," can be a matter of more serious health concern than PM10.

The PM10 level (presence of particles in the air with a diameter of fewer than 10 micrometres) in Delhi stood at 269, according to the data from the SAFAR.

A CPCB official said a number of factors were responsible for the deteriorating air quality, including vehicular pollution, construction activities and meteorological factors like the direction of the wind, which is now flowing from the stubble burning areas.

Satellite imagery by NASA shows countless spot fires already burning in Haryana and Punjab.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on October 19 warned that Delhi would become a "gas chamber soon" as the Centre, the Punjab and the Haryana governments were doing "absolutely nothing" for farmers involved in stubble burning.