Delhi-NCR inhaling toxins for over 50 days, not getting better
New Delhi: Even as a few areas in Delhi-NCR fell out of the "severe-plus or emergency" category to "severe", the ambient air quality of the national capital remained "very poor" on Tuesday -- the 52nd day since the region has been bereft of clean air.
According to the monitoring agencies and latest forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the air quality is expected to remain "very poor" for at least till Sunday December 3.
"The wind speed is expected to slow down, the pollution situation is expected to hover around very poor till December 3. The values may oscillate between poor or very poor," Polash Mukherjee, Research Associate at Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and member EPCA, told IANS.
On Tuesday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) was "severe-plus" at Anand Vihar, while it recorded "severe" in parts of Ghaziabad, Noida and Delhi Technical University (DTU) in north Delhi.
In Delhi, with an AQI of "very poor", average concentration of the major pollutant PM2.5 or particles with diameter less than 2.5 micrometers, was 187 units, while in Delhi-NCR it was 195 units -- about seven times higher than the safe limits as per international standards.
At R.K Puram in south west Delhi, PM2.5 at peak was 279 units at 6 p.m.
According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), PM2.5 concentration was above 300 units at Dhirpur, Pitampura and Delhi University in north Delhi, Mathura Road and Ayanagar in south Delhi, IGI Airport, Noida and Gurugram.
Meanwhile, as the stubble burning continues unabated in neighbouring states and the capital itself, as shown by satellite images, the National Capital Region saw the 52nd day of persistent toxins.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) records, Delhi-NCR last saw "moderate" Air Quality Index (AQI) on October 7, 2017, and had been reeling under "poor" to "severe" category.
The records further showed that since October 17, Delhi has been consistently breathing "very poor" air, while for seven days from November 7 to 13 it was either "severe" or "severe-plus".
Reeling under "very poor", "severe" or "emergency" AQI since October 17, Delhi however got a breather due to light rain for one day only on November 19, when the AQI was rated "poor", after which the air quality kept worsening to the date.