New Delhi, Nov 13: Amid thick smog cover and deteriorating air quality in the national capital, Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said there has been an improvement in the air quality in the Delhi-NCR due to the efforts made by implementing agencies.
He said with the present trends, it was expected that the decline in the particular matter (PM) levels would continue and the air quality was likely to fall back in the severe category.
"There is a declining trend in the levels of particulate matter at present, indicating an improvement in air quality due to the efforts made by implementing agencies," he said.
Pollution levels had skyrocketed by the hour in Delhi yesterday, turning the air quality hazardous, which agencies consider unfit for inhalation even by healthier people.
"There has been a decline in PM10 values, from 712.1 to 566.6 micrograms and decline in PM2.5 levels from 480 to 385.7 micrograms at 2 pm today", the minister said.
"With the present trend, it is expected that the decline in particulate matter levels will continue and air quality is likely to fall back in the severe category," he said.
Vardhan said the present air quality in the Delhi-NCR has been in the severe plus category and emergency conditions as a result of adverse weather conditions due to western disturbances, stubble burning and high levels of relative humidity. He said initially the conditions started on November 7 and declined to severe category (concentration less than 500 micrograms per cubic metre for PM10 and less than 300 micrograms per cubic metre for PM2.5) on November 11.
Later, the level has gone up again because of adverse weather conditions which is further improving now, he added. The environment ministry had earlier set up a high-level committee to propose and monitor solutions to air pollution, which has risen to dangerous levels in and around Delhi, raising serious health concerns.