Delhi chokes again as air quality plunges to 'severe' category
New Delhi, Oct 30: The blue skies that have been a complete treat for the Delhi-NCR over the last two months, off and on, turned grey on Wednesday as the sun struggled to shine through the haze with the air quality deteriorating and slipping into the 'severe' category.
According to Air Quality Index (AQI) data, the major pollutants PM 2.5 at 500 (severe) and PM 10 at 379 (very poor) has been recorded in Lodhi Road area.
On the Diwali night, many areas in the city recorded an AQI of 999, beyond which reading is not possible, on Diwali night. The prescribed limit is 60.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor, and 401-500 severe. Above 500 is severe-plus emergency category.
Delhi's air quality took a hit after on Diwali night due to a combination of firecracker emissions, stubble burning and unfavourable meteorological conditions.
Since then, pollution levels have been oscillating between the lower end and the higher end of the very poor category.
On Diwali night, a large number of revellers brazenly flouted the Supreme Court-enforced two-hour limit for bursting crackers.
The Supreme Court had also ordered that only green firecrackers, which cause 30 per cent less pollution, can be manufactured and sold, but a DPCC official said a large number of illegal crackers were burst on Diwali.
The Arvind Kejriwal government had organised a mega laser show in an effort to dissuade people from bursting crackers.
SAFAR said an increase in the wind speed will help disperse pollutants and the pollution levels are expected to come down.
However, officials at the Indian Meteorological Department said a significant increase in the wind speed is unlikely over the next two days and similar conditions are expected to prevail.
The AQI takes into account five chief pollutants - particulate matter with a diameter less than 10 micrometres (PM10), PM2.5, ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and carbon monoxide (CO).
The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern.
(with PTI inputs)