As the Supreme Court on Monday rapped the Delhi and Central government for doing nothing to control air pollution, nature took some pity on Delhiites and bright sunshine broke through the thick Delhi smog on Monday afternoon with brisk wind speed brought some relief from the choking conditions in the national capital and the AQI moderated to 534 from overall around 700 on Sunday.
Delhi’s AQI has moderated to 534 levels much lower than the levels seen a day ago, according to Safar India.
As per the US Embassy data, at 2 pm the AQI as per PM 2.5 was 361, much lower than the 500 plus levels seen on Sunday and earlier on Monday.
According to Safar India, a significant improvement was expected by Monday afternoon as very high boundary layer wind speed of 26 kmph was also observed early morning.
High surface and boundary layer wind are also expected for Tuesday which will further improve air quality to “very poor” level.
A fresh Western Disturbance is approaching north India and scattered rainfall and change in wind direction is expected by November 8 in Delhi region likely to positively influence AQI, the Met report said.
It said the light drizzling in calm wind conditions acted as a catalyst towards increasing air-holding capacity, triggering secondary particle formation (SPF-a mechanism when PM2.5 starts to multiply rapidly).
In cloudy days like Sunday, in the absence of sufficient solar radiation, the mixed layer continued to be very low even during the daytime, arresting pollutants firmly.
It is a unique condition because such a process is characteristic of the colder foggy period of December-January, the Safar forecast said.
Stubble burning on Sunday had the highest share in terms of the absolute number of PM2.5 of 120. This along with secondary particulate formation due to drizzled calm winds notched the seasons’ high PM2.5 levels to “severe plus”.
With the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority declaring a public health emergency in the Delhi-NCR region, the state government has ordered the closure of all schools till Tuesday.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has blamed Haryana and Punjab governments for Delhi’s deteriorating air quality. He said that Delhi has turned into a “gas chamber” due to smoke from crop burning in the neighbouring states.
The Odd-Even road rationing scheme kicked off in Delhi-NCR region on Monday.