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Delhi shivers at 3.60

Delhi shivers at 3.60

NEW DELHI: A cold wave swept through Delhi on Wednesday morning as the minimum temperature dropped to 3.6 degrees Celsius, the lowest this winter, the Met office said. Meanwhile, air quality in Delhi moved from the 'severe' to 'very poor' category after slightly improved weather conditions marginally favoured dispersion of pollutants.

"The minimum temperature was recorded at 3.6 degree Celsius, four notches below the season's average. It is the lowest temperature recorded so far this year," it said.

Delhi has been reeling under a cold wave for the past a few days. On December 23, the minimum temperature was recorded at 3.7 degrees Celsius. It is expected to dip to 3.0 degrees Celsius after December 28.

The weatherman had predicted clear skies throughout the day on Wednesday, and the maximum temperature is expected to hover around 20 degrees Celsius.

The officials informed that due to the prevailing foggy weather condition 11 trains were cancelled and two trains were partially cancelled. The Indian Railways also decided to drop the frequency of nearly six trains due to the fog.

However, as the wind speed has increased than the last few days the pollution level has dipped slightly. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, 21 areas recorded severe pollution, while 13 areas saw 'very poor' air quality.

The overall PM 2.5 level - fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometres - was recorded at 249 and the PM10 level at 378, the CPCB said.

Delhi recorded its second-highest pollution level of the year on Sunday with an AQI of 450. The air quality remained 'severe' on Monday and Tuesday before moving to 'very poor' category on Wednesday morning.

According to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), air quality is likely to improve as the meteorological conditions like wind speed and ventilation index are marginally favourable for dispersion of pollutants.

Ventilation index is the speed at which pollutants can get dispersed. A ventilation index lower than 6000 sqm/second, with average wind speed less than 10 kmph, is unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants.

The index was 5500 sqm/second on Wednesday, the IITM said.

Given the prevalence of severe pollution in the national capital, industrial activities in pollution hotspots of Wazirpur, Mundka, Narela, Bawana, Sahibabad and Faridabad, and construction work across Delhi-NCR was ordered to remain shut till Wednesday.

Sayantan Ghosh

Sayantan Ghosh

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