The air quality in Delhi continued to remain
“severe” on Wednesday and the weather experts have predicted hazy
days from Friday.

Mahesh Palawat, Director Skymet, a private weather forecaster, said that as of
now there is no smog in Delhi because of dry winds blowing with speed of 15-20
kmph, but a short spell of hazy days would return on Friday.

“Due to western disturbance from Friday onwards the current dry
north-westerly winds will be replaced by the easterly and south-easterly winds.
This will increase humidity in the region that will bring haziness in the
atmosphere and give rise to pollution,” Palawat told IANS.

He, however, said that this situation will last only for a couple of days. 

“The western disturbance will also cause rains in Haryana and Punjab but
not in Delhi,” he said.

The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting & Research (SAFAR)
showing levels of PM (particulate matter) 2.5 and PM 10 breaching the 400-mark
at all locations in Delhi.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Air Quality Index
(AQI) for Delhi remained severe with the index value 424 which however slightly
improved from Tuesday’s index value of 432.

Several districts of Uttar Pradesh also witnessed “severe” air
quality as for Lucknow the AQI was 494, for Agra it was 405 and for Varanasi it
was 454. 

The maximum level of PM 2.5, which can travel deeply into the respiratory tract
down to the lungs, was at the level of 500 micrograms per cubic metre or
“severe” at pollution measuring centres, including Anand Vihar in
east Delhi and Punjabi Bagh in the west. 

There was a marginal reduction in PM 2.5 levels at pollution measuring stations
like R.K. Puram in the south, and Mandir Marg in central Delhi and Dwarka in
the west as the pollution levels at these places were 490, 489 and 420
micrograms per cubic metre respectively.

The weather office predicted a clear day on Thursday with mist/shallow fog in
the morning.

“The minimum temperature on Wednesday was recorded at 12.2 degrees
Celsius, two notches below the season’s average while maximum temperature
settled at 29 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the season,” an
official of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) told IANS.

The maximum and minimum temperatures would hover around 29 and 12 degrees
Celsius respectively on Thursday, the weather office said.

To combat pollution Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia launched the
Swachh Delhi app on Wednesday.

Through this app, the citizens can send photographs of any activity which
directly causes air pollution.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday had banned all construction
activities for a week in the entire Delhi-NCR region due to rising pollution.