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New Delhi: Morning air improves, still remains at ‘very poor’ category

The capital witnessed a drop to the severe category for the first time this season due to poor dispersion of pollutants.


Saturday morning in Delhi came with a better air quality but still remained in the ‘very poor’ category with the overall air quality index (AQI) at 309.

Morning walkers, cyclists, and joggers working out near India Gate amid dipping air quality in the national capital were seen affected due to the dip in the air quality. “We’re from Gurugram. There is breathing difficulty and irritation in the eyes,” a member of a group of cyclists told ANI.

People felt this way because, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the AQI in the overall Delhi region was in the ‘very poor’ category at 309.

However, in the Delhi University and Lodhi Road, the AQI remained in ‘very poor’ category at 355 and 321 respectively. In the area near IIT Delhi, the AQI was 293.

“Local surface winds are 6 to 8 km/h (Max Temperature 32 deg C; Min 14-15 deg C) for the next three days that cause weak dispersion of pollutants. Peak ‘Mixing layer height’ during daytime (~1.0-1.5 km) leads to moderate vertical dispersion of pollutants,” read SAFAR’s official statistics.

The air quality watchdog also informed that strong winds at the transport level blowing from the northwest direction from stubble burning areas are likely to transport pollutants to Delhi and its share in Delhi’s PM2.5 is likely to increase further.

Speaking on the poor air quality, a fitness enthusiast said that the administration needs to take note of the situation.

“Government should see where to go from here next,” said Surendra, a fitness enthusiast.

“The air quality is likely to deteriorate but will remain within ‘Very Poor’ for the next three days,” the SAFAR statement added.
Environmentalist Vimlendu Jha told ANI that Severe category AQI is very dangerous for health and it affects even healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases.

“In such circumstances, the schools should be closed and outdoor movement should be prohibited because severe category AQI impacts all aspects of life,” Jha said.
Earlier, the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and adjoining areas has intensified its efforts to ensure enforcement and compliance with its directions after the air quality of the national capital plunged to the “severe” category.

As per the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the commission has been informing and sensitizing all stakeholders (industrial houses, commercial establishments, construction agencies, State Govt. / GNCTD agencies, ULBs in NCR and the public at large) about the preventive, mitigative and restrictive actions required to be taken under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)

The capital witnessed a drop to the severe category for the first time this season due to poor dispersion of pollutants owing to weak winds, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

All the data and statistics included in the article are till 8 am.

(With Inputs from ANI)