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Air quality improves slightly with increased wind speed

Air quality improves slightly with increased wind speed

NEW DELHI: Delhi's air quality showed a slight improvement on Thursday due to increased wind speed and settled in the poor category, authorities said.

The overall air quality index was recorded at 282 which falls in poor category, according to data by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). While eleven areas in Delhi recorded very poor air quality, 24 places recorded poor air quality, according to the data. The level of PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometres) was recorded at 135 and the PM10 level was recorded at 273, it said.

According to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), the slight improvement in the air quality was due to increased wind speed. "The effect of winds has been felt on the minimum temperatures as well. Minimums have dropped by about a degree and at present, they are near normal. If we look at the pattern, minimum temperatures have witnessed a gradual fall since November 19," said the department.

"Now, we expect northwesterly winds to continue over Delhi and adjoining areas for at least next four to five days. Winds speed is also expected to pick up. The increased winds speed of these dry winds would help in reducing pollution levels further," said an official.

He added, "Apart from this, we expect a fall in day and night temperatures during the next three to four days. Minimums are expected to fall below normal and maximums which are still two degrees above normal may also touch near normal levels."

Delhi can say there will be a slight relief from the ongoing pollution levels to some extent. Also, due to the fall of temperatures, winters are expected to commence soon over the region.

An AQI between 0 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'. Delhi's air quality has been in the very poor category since last week and on Wednesday some areas even recorded severe pollution level.

Meanwhile, the country's top pollution monitoring and regulatory body, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Wednesday sent notices to the Delhi-NCR government agencies, warning them of criminal activity in case they fail to take appropriate action in order to curb air pollution. While labelling the actions taken by the civic bodies, construction and land-holding agencies "grossly inadequate" resulting in "criminal negligence," the pollution watchdog also came up with a checklist they would have to follow.

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