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After 'very poor' day, air turns 'severe' in evening

After very poor day, air turns severe in evening

NEW DELHI: The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi reached the 'severe' category on Monday evening, after remained 'very poor' category air quality. At 7 pm, the AQI was recorded at 404, while an average AQI of '399' was seen in the day. Authorities blamed it on decreased wind speed.

Satellite images by the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) showed moderate stubble burning fire count that is contributing to seven per cent of the pollution caused by PM2.5 in Delhi.

On Monday, the PM2.5 level was recorded at 265, while that of PM10 was 461, according to data from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Nineteen areas in Delhi recorded 'severe' air quality, while 18 areas showed 'very poor' air quality, said CPCB. Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Greater Noida and Noida recorded 'severe' air quality, while Gurugram's air improved significantly in air quality as was in the 'moderate' category, according to the CPCB.

Meanwhile, SAFAR said the air is likely to improve further by Tuesday, but will remain in the 'very poor' category. "The stubble related impact continues to remain nominal due to slow transport height winds," it said.

An official at CPCB said, "The wind speed is changing very abruptly now. When the speed was good we saw that the recovery of the air quality was good but now we have mostly lost the chance. With time the wind speed is decreasing and as Delhi is landlocked the situation is likely to worsen."

He added that the reining in local pollution sources would be the only way to improve air quality.

"The only way out would be proper implementation of the GRAP (Graded Response Action Plan) and to cut down on local pollution sources. We have found that stubble burning contribution is also there, and if it goes down the situation will change a little. Meteorological conditions are the main culprit right now," the official added.

The air quality severely deteriorated since last Thursday, the day after Diwali, and continued to remain 'severe' before showing a slight improvement last Saturday. Since then, it has been oscillating between 'very poor' and 'severe'.

Sayantan Ghosh

Sayantan Ghosh

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