Delhi’s pollution levels worsen, air quality still in ‘poor’ category

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New Delhi, Delhi’s pollution levels worsened on Wednesday even as the air quality index remained in the ‘poor’ category, with a government agency forecasting improvement in the situation on Thursday with cleaner easterly wind coming in.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 268 on Wednesday morning. However, the data updated in the evening showed the average AQI of the past 24 hours at 256.

The figures are based on data collected from 34 monitoring stations in the city.

The 24-hour average AQI was 223 on Tuesday and 244 the day before. It was 254 on Sunday and 287 on Saturday.

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’.

However, the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR, said the AQI has deteriorated to the lower end of ‘very poor’ category.

“Delhi’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) has marginally deteriorated and is in the lower end of the ‘very poor’ category as of Wednesday morning. It is being forecast that the air quality may improve by tomorrow and be in ‘poor’ category due to cleaner easterly wind intrusion,” SAFAR said.

It said the AQI will be in the ‘poor’ category in the coming days.

The SAFAR synergised stubble burning fire counts around Haryana, Punjab and neighbouring regions stood at 849 for Tuesday.

The share of stubble burning in Delhi’s PM 2.5 pollution stood at 15 per cent on Wednesday, the agency said adding it is likely to reduce on Thursday owing to expected change in wind direction.

The Delhi government has kickstarted its ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ anti-pollution campaign for which it has deployed 2,500 environment marshals at 100 traffic signals across the city to generate awareness and curb vehicular pollution.

The drive will go on till November 15 from 8 am to 8 pm. It is an awareness drive by the Delhi government and no person will be issued challans, the government had said.

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