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Air improves slightly in the day but turns 'severe' in evening

Air improves slightly in the day but turns severe in evening

NEW DELHI: After local pollutants "reduced significantly" and the contribution from stubble burning remained "marginal" due to wind speed, Delhi's air quality on Saturday improved to 'very poor' category in the daytime but later fell to 'severe' in the evening, authorities said.

The overall air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 394, in the 'very poor' category, according to the data by the Central Pollution Control Board. However, at 5 PM, the AQI was recorded at 401 which is 'severe'.

Fifteen areas in Delhi saw 'severe' air quality, while 19 areas recorded 'very poor' pollution levels, it said.

The level of PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) was recorded at 226, while that of PM10 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres) was recorded at 331.

"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," a statement by the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) noted.

It added that the unfavourable weather would make dispersion very slow and could have aggravated pollution levels due to locally generated pollutants. However, as the influx of fresh local emission significantly dropped and allowed already accumulated pollution to disperse slowly, the air quality improved.

On Friday, officials had predicted the possibility of wind speed picking up at the upper level late in the night and push the level of pollution and keep it in 'severe' zone on Saturday, with intensified fog which will further help in trapping the pollutants.

As per the satellite, heavy fire counts were recorded in the last 24 hour, but presently the contribution of stubble fire emissions is marginal as upper winds are northerly.


Heavy vehicle entry ban to last till Monday

New Delhi: The Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority on Saturday extended the ban on construction activities – industries using coal and biomass – and entry of trucks till November 12, due to high pollution levels in Delhi.

The agency extended the ban on recommendations of a Central Pollution Control Board-led task force, which reviews Delhi's air quality.

"It was observed that PM2.5 concentrations have exceeded 300 µg/m3. As such the 'severe +' situation has continued for 37 hours. Therefore, the task force recommends that ban on construction activities, industries using coal and biomass and entry of trucks, which are in force, should continue till November 12," the task force directed EPCA.

Sayantan Ghosh

Sayantan Ghosh

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