Air quality improves but fog delays 40 trains
Delhi’s air quality, which had rapidly deteriorated on the eve of Christmas, improved on Monday as strong westerly winds dispersed suspended particulates, letting the city breathe easy. Air Quality Index (AQI) oscillated between ‘very poor’ and ‘poor’ categories. The 24-hour-average AQI reading of the city was also ‘very poor’ at 314 as recorded by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Ministry of Earth Sciences Agency SAFAR recorded the average levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 (24 hour, rolling) at 160 and 282 micrograms per cubic metre respectively as against the prescribed standards of 60 and 100. A person may develop respiratory illness on prolonged exposure to ‘very poor’ quality air while ‘poor’ may trigger breathing discomfort, says the advisories of CPCB.
Delhi Environment minister Imran Hussain, too, reviewed the current situation of ambient air quality with the officers of the department and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee. “Levels of PM10 and PM2.5 in Delhi showed an increasing trend on December 23 and 24 due to non-dispersal of pollutants with low temperature and low wind speed. However, December 25 onwards, ambient air quality has improved due to better wind speed,” a government statement said.
Meanwhile, Delhiites woke up to a clear and sunny morning on Monday. The weatherman has said that the city people will have to face colder days ahead as minimum temperatures are set to plummet to as low as 8-10 degrees Celsius in the next two days, with a slight change in the fog condition. “The minimum temperature in Delhi will remain the same on Tuesday while it is expected to dip by 2 degrees on Wednesday. The minimum temperature on Wednesday is predicted to be 8 degrees Celsius,” predicted the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The maximum temperature in the national Capital on Monday scaled up after a cold day to settle at 22.8 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal, even as dense fog cover in the morning delayed 40 trains and led to change in schedule of 17 others.
The visibility was recorded at 600 metre at 5.30 am at Safdarjung which dropped to 400 metre at 8.30 am. It improved to 1,500 metre at 11.30 am, said a Met department official. At Palam, it was zero visibility at 5.30 am and it improved to 100 metre at 8.30 am. It significantly improved to 1,300 metre at 11.30 am.
Fog continued to disrupt train movements in Delhi till Monday as many as 40 trains arriving in the city were delayed and atleast 18 trains were rescheduled.