Clean air still out of reach for Delhiites
NEW DELHI: Pollution levels in the national capital rose further on Thursday with the Air Quality Index (AQI) entering 'severe' category in several areas.
The Central Pollution Control Board observed the Air Quality Index at 360.
The average AQI, monitored by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), was reported to be in 'very poor' category.
The PM10 and PM2.5 levels were reported at 314 and 182 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) at 2.33 pm.
The corresponding safe averages are 100 and 60, respectively.
The pollutions levels are expected to rise further and remain in 'very poor' category over the next three days.
This morning, AQI was recorded at 564 (Hazardous) at Delhi's RK Puram area. At 2.33 pm, both PM10 and PM2.5 levels were under 'severe' category at south Delhi's Mathura Road monitoring station. The levels were at 418 and 408, respectively.
The PM10 levels were in 'poor' category at the T3 terminal of IGI Airport and at Pitampura in North Delhi, while PM2.5 levels were under the very poor category.
The concentration of suspended particulates was under 'very poor' category at the Delhi University, and in neighbouring Noida as well.
On Wednesday, Dipankar Saha, air lab chief of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), had attributed the rise in pollution levels in Delhi to the influx of moisture due to the change in wind movement to south-westerly and fall in speed of local winds.
The presence of strong local winds helps in flushing out particulates while the presence of moisture traps pollutants near the surface.