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Air quality deteriorates to 'severe' category

Air quality deteriorates to severe category

New Delhi: The air quality in the national Capital deteriorated on the New Year's Day on Friday with the AQI in the 'severe' category.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board's (CPCB) mobile application SAMEER, Delhi's air quality index or AQI was recorded at 446. Twenty-nine out of 38 monitoring stations in the

capital were found to have 'severe' AQI.

"The overall air quality has deteriorated and in the 'severe' category. Surface winds became extremely calm as forecasted and the low dispersion condition led to accumulation and trapping of pollutants near-surface, according to the Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality monitor SAFAR.

An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301-400 'very poor' and 401-500 'severe', while the AQI above 500 falls in the severe plus category.

According to SAFAR, the radiative fog mixed with high PM levels are making it smog and reducing the visibility.

It said that this extreme situation is short lived and the condition is likely to improve marginally by Saturday.

Agencies said that a fresh Western Disturbance is very likely to affect the region by January 3 to improve surface winds speed, ventilation and some rainfall that are likely to bring significant improvement to the current AQI condition.

The CPCB on Thursday said that pollution levels in Delhi this December were the lowest in the last four years and the average air quality index for December stood at 308.

It was 337 last year, 360 in 2018 and 316 in 2017, the CPCB data showed.

Meanwhile, the air quality plunged to the "severe" level in Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida and Faridabad while it stayed in the "very poor" zone in Gurgaon on the first day of 2021, according to the 24-hour data issued by a government agency on Friday.

Presence of pollutant PM 2.5 and PM 10 remained high in the five immediate neighbours of Delhi, according to the air quality index (AQI) maintained by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

According to the index, an AQI between zero 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'.

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