Delhiites had some relief from air pollution on Sunday as the air quality in the national capital had been showing improvement since yesterday. The air quality index (AQI) today stood at 256, which meant it was in the “poor” category. The AQI yesterday was 281.
An AQI between zero 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`.
According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), Central Ministry of Earth Science, in Delhi, “AQI today indicates ‘Poor’ air quality. For the next two days (13th, 14th), winds are likely to be low to moderate. Partially cloudy conditions and moderate mixing layer height (~ 1 km) are likely to keep air quality within ‘poor’ during noon time or ‘lower end of very poor’ during the night and early morning hours for the next two days. From 15th onwards air quality is likely to improve due to relatively high wind speeds but within ‘poor’ or ‘lower end of the very poor category. ”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also tweeted to say that the PM-10 level in the city was 219 (101 -250 — moderate) and the PM-5 level was 123 (121-250 — very poor)
The Ministry of Earth Science portal issued advice to people suffering from asthma and heart problems to reduce prolonged exertion in the open. It said, “Asthmatics, keep medicine ready if symptoms of coughing or shortness of breath occur. Heart patients, see doctor, if palpitations, shortness of breath, or unusual fatigue occurs.”
Experts believe that the air quality may improve further if the wind speed in Delhi goes up. But there is an apprehension that the air quality may worsen if strict anti-pollution measures are not taken immediately as the order of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) concerning the closure of industries not running on clean fuels came to an end on Sunday.
On 7 December, the CAQM had issued an order for immediate closure of all industrial units not using cleaner fuel.