Thick fog engulfs Delhi, air quality dips to 'very poor'

New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Nov 17, 2018, 09:46 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometres) level was recorded at 339 in the morning in New Delhi.

After a day's respite, the air quality in the National Capital again deteriorated to 'very poor' category on Saturday as the dispersion of pollutants slowed down.

The PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometres) level was recorded at 339 in the morning in New Delhi.

According to the forecasting agency, the fog will lift in the morning with maximum and minimum temperatures hovering around 27 degrees Celsius and 15-degree Celsius.

The humidity in the region will plummet to 78 per cent with the wind speed of 8 kilometres per hour.

An Air Quality Index (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 'hazardous'.

"Air pollution is on the path of reversal and increased after the impact of rain is over and AQI is entering in 'very poor' range. Likely to deteriorate further by tomorrow but will remain in the very poor category. Although surface wind speed is better (higher) but air holding capacity is also high due to moisture which is unfavourable. fire counts from stubble burning increased in past 24 Hours. Although less possibility of direct intrusion but horizontal dispersion may contribute marginally (8-10 per cent) to Delhi pollution," System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) said.

Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) Chairman Bhure Lal on Friday also expressed his concern over the air pollution crisis and stated that more crop burning residue has been recorded this year. He also criticised farmers who continue to burn stubble, instead of turning crop residue into useful products.

Recently, NASA had released a couple of images of burning stubble in Punjab and Haryana. The organisation has stated that stubble burning in these two states have increased significantly within a span of 10 years and the biggest victims are Ambala, Karnal, Sirsa Amritsar and Hisar.

However, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh denied Lal's claim and stated, "We have westerly winds most of the year and if stubble burning was responsible for Delhi`s pollution then Chandigarh`s air should have been as polluted."

The recent report issued by Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) in October, has also stated paddy stubble burning incidents in Punjab have significantly declined this Kharif season.

The data from PPCB stated that 7503 cases of stubble burning were reported in the state till October 26 this year. There were 13,364 and 19,879 cases recorded during the same period in 2017 and 2016 respectively.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 3 million deaths a year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution, on the other hand, can be just as deadly.

In 2012, an estimated 6.5 million deaths (11.6 per cent of all global deaths) were associated with indoor and outdoor air pollution together.

Nearly 90 per cent of air-pollution-related deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. 

Read in App