New Delhi, Nov 10: Delhi's air quality Saturday improved to 'very poor' category after local pollutants "reduced significantly" and the contribution from stubble burning remained "marginal" due to wind speed, authorities said.
The overall air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 394 which falls in the 'very poor' category, according to the data by the Central Pollution Control Board.
Fifteen areas in Delhi recorded 'severe' air quality while 19 areas recorded 'very poor' pollution levels, it said.
On Saturday, the PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) level was recorded at 226, while the PM10 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres) was recorded at 331 in Delhi.
An AQI 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".
Delhi's air quality improves
"The overall air quality index of Delhi has improved and is likely to go back to 'very poor' range against all odds and averse weather conditions," Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) said.
"The unfavourable weather was to make dispersion very slow and could have aggravated pollution levels due to locally generated pollutants, but as the influx of fresh local emission significantly dropped and allowed already accumulated pollution to disperse slowly, the air quality improved," it said.
Stubble burning still continues
According to The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), stubble burning was the "largest-ever recorded" for this year with 2,100 fire counts, which might lead to a further deterioration of the already "severe" air quality of the national capital.
Wear masks, avoid outdoor activity, say Docs
Worried about the situation in the capital, medical practitioners have advised people suffering from breathing difficulties to avoid outdoor activities. They have also recommended people to use masks whenever they step out of their houses.
At least 400 heavy goods vehicles denied entry
On Friday, over 400 heavy and medium goods vehicles were returned from Delhi borders due to a ban on their entry as the city's air quality remained severe for the second consecutive day on Friday.
Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) Chairperson Bhure Lal has assured that the Supreme Court-appointed body would go after vehicles causing pollution in the city. He also said people should have abided by the direction of the Supreme Court on bursting of firecrackers in the stipulated time frame of 8 pm to 10 pm.