New Delhi, Nov 21 | : The residents of Delhi received a bit of a breather as the overall air quality of the national capital improved from ‘very poor’ to settle at the ‘poor’ category on Saturday as the day progressed. The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) improved from 313 in the morning and stood at 252 at noon, as per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
According to the data shared by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air pollution level in several parts of the capital city oscillated between moderate to poor category. Areas such as Anand Vihar, Mathura Road, Chandni Chowk, Dwarka Sector 8, Dilshad Garden, ITO and RK Puram stood in the ‘poor’ category, with the AQIs clocking at 276, 235, 279, 299, 216, 280, and 291 respectively. The AQI was at 318 in Bawana, 313 in Mundka, 322 in Najafgarh and 326 in Jahangirpuri, all falling under the ‘very poor’ category. Meanwhile, Lodhi Road recorded ‘moderate’ air quality with an AQI of 195.
An AQI reading 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”.
The ministry of earth sciences informed that the farm fire count in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and neighbouring areas that had decreased marginally from Thursday showed a significant increase and stood at 1264 on Friday, adding that the share of stubble burning in Delhi’s air pollution was estimated at 13 per cent on today.
“The overall air quality of Delhi is in the Poor category as of today morning as forecasted. High surface winds are forecasted for today and it is likely to contribute to improving air quality further. Surface winds are West-southwesterly and speed is moderate. However, boundary layer wind direction is North Westerly and Effective Stubble fire counts with sufficient potential estimated from SAFAR-multi-satellite products increased significantly and are around 1264. Stubble burning share in PM2.5 in Delhi’s air is estimated as 13 % for today which could have been much higher, if surface winds could have been calm,” the ministry officials said.
The ministry forecast that the AQI is likely to improve and in the lower end of the Poor to Moderate category on November 22 as informed earlier as well. However, calm surface winds and low night time boundary layer height are likely to cause adverse dispersion conditions for a few days leading to a deterioration in AQI expected from November 23 which is predicted to sustain for a few days.
“Calm surface winds and low night time boundary layer height is likely to cause adverse dispersion conditions for a few days from 23rd November. AQI is forecasted to marginally deteriorate and in the Poor category on 23rd November and likely to deteriorate to very poor by 24th November,” the officials added.