NEW DELHI: The Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi improve has improved to an average reading of 308, according to CPCB data. However, even at this level, the air quality remains "very poor".
The meteorological department asserted that there is a possibility of rain on Wednesday which might bring down the pollution level more and smog thickness will also be thinned. The Central Pollution Control Board and the MeT department also asserted that the wind speed of the city was 13km/hr on Tuesday whereas it was 8km/hr on Monday. This gaining wind speed has also helped to improve the air quality, said an official of the CPCB.
The Union Environment Ministry also noted that the air quality is improving in Delhi and in the coming days the situation would be better. "On account of pollution control measures and slight improvement in weather conditions, the declining trend in PM levels which started in the afternoon of November 12, continues even Tuesday and Delhi have now moved from emergency level to severe category of PM levels with PM10 being 392 µg/m3 and PM2.5 being 262 µg/m3," said Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan. Appreciating the discipline shown by the public in general, the minister added that this has largely been achieved due to efforts of various government agencies and public participation based on voluntary actions. "The IMD has predicted that weather conditions are likely to become more favourable for dispersal of pollutants over next 2-3 days and hence, air quality is expected to improve further," said Harsh Vardhan.
He also said there is no need to spread panic among the people over the present air pollution situation in Delhi, adding it is not like the Bhopal gas tragedy which was an "emergency".
"I am not saying we shouldn't do anything about it (Delhi smog); everyone has to respond to what he is supposed to do. But there is no need to spread panic among the people," the minister said.
The Bhopal gas leak of 1984 is considered the world's worst industrial disaster where thousands of people died.
Meanwhile, the CPCB senior officials also held a review meeting to control the industrial pollution around the Capital. "At this juncture, while all government agencies have to maintain the highest level of alertness and continue intense efforts at checking pollution, I would like to appeal to all citizens in Delhi & NCR to continue the good work and help us with achieving better levels of air quality," said Vardhan.