Air quality still in 'severe' category
NEW DELHI: Air quality in the national Capital remained 'severe' on Tuesday, on just the second day of the New Year, with CPCB predicting that the situation will prevail for the next few days.
Tuesday's average air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 400 by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The high pollution level was attributed to a rapid build-up of particulate matter owing to foggy conditions.
The System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) – which comes under the Ministry of Earth Sciences – said the air quality was worse this January 1, compared to 2016 and 2017. The last two years, foggy days were distributed over a longer period of time, SAFAR said in an assessment report.
On Monday too, AQI was in the 'very poor' category, recorded at 398.
The agency said it was mainly because the spell of dense fog remained concentrated between December 25 and the first week of January this year.
Firecrackers had been burst in many parts of Delhi Sunday night to ring in 2018, contributing to the worsening air quality.
Meanwhile, levels of PM2.5 and PM10 levels in the city, at 6 pm, stood at 311 and 471.5 μg/m3, respectively, according to the CPCB.
Pollution is considered in the 'severe plus' category, when readings of PM2.5 and PM10 cross 300 and 500 μg/m3, respectively. The corresponding prescribed safety standards are 60 and 100 μg/m3.
The levels of Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) at air quality stations at Punjabi Bagh and Anand Vihar were reported at 147.47 and 91.97 μg/m3, respectively.
The pollution graph maintained by the Central Air Quality Monitoring Room of the CPCB was indicative of the rapid fall in air quality.
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