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Cleanest November day in 2 yrs, air quality is 'moderate'

Cleanest November day in 2 yrs, air quality is moderate
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NEW DELHI: Sunday was the cleanest November day in the last two years as the Air Quality was "moderate". However, the relief seems shortlived as the System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) has predicted deterioration of air quality in the city from Monday.

Air quality this year in October has been cleaner compared to 2016 and 2017. While the average AQI this month is 268.6, in 2017 it was 284.9 while in 2016, it was 270.9.

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'.

"The wind speed has increased which has taken out all the existing toxic air of the capital. But this is a temporary condition and if the wind speed decreases then the pollution level will again increase," said a CPCB scientist.

Meanwhile, SAFAR report observed that the current improvement is due to the emergency action plan. "The improvement is suggestive of the effect of control measures," the SAFAR report said. Warning that moisture in Delhi's atmosphere will fall in temperature and upper winds from stubble burning sites will "adversely impact air quality," the report said "AQI will touch the upper level of very poor from November 5 afternoon onwards" as per the SAFAR-forecasting model.

However, the Supreme Court appointed environment watchdog EPCA has clarified that there would be no relaxation on the Graded Response Action Plan which was notified on October 15. From November 1 to 10 EPCA notified various emergency actions which include banning of all the activities involving excavation, suspension of civil construction, closure of stone crushers and hot mix plants among others, across Delhi.

On Tuesday, the air quality reached the 'severe' level, prompting authorities to adopt a slew of measures to combat pollution.

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