Delhi reels under cold wave, air quality 'poor'
NEW DELHI: Delhiites on Thursday woke up to a misty morning with cold winds keeping the minimum temperature at 10 degrees Celsius. The air quality was also recorded 'poor'. The major pollutants PM 2.5 were recorded at 292 and PM 10 at 223 (poor category) in the Wazirpur area. In the Rohini area, the Air Quality Index (AQI) PM 2.5 was at 304 and PM 10 at 209. At the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium area, PM 2.5 was at 252 and PM 10 at 210. AQI at Punjabi Bagh Delhi was recorded 'very poor', PM 2.5 was at 282 while the PM 10 was at 192. Delhi's air quality has been oscillating between 'very poor' and 'severe' categories for the past ten days.
On Wednesday, nine trains were delayed due to fog in Delhi. A cover of moderate fog enveloped the city lowering the visibility to 200 metres at Palam and 400 metres at Safdarjung at 5:30 am, the official had said. While the low visibility in the morning stalled several trains, operations at the Delhi airport remained unaffected. According to the Air Quality Index, major pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 were in the "poor" category at the Indira Gandhi International airport.
The major air pollutants after rainfall on the weekend and moderate surface wind speed improved the overall air quality. This respite is not expected to last for long, according to SAFAR. The AQI was expected to increase gradually due to high humidity levels and dropping temperature which would hold the pollutants in the air.
An AQI between 100 to 200 comes under 'moderate' category, 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor' while between 401 and 500 'severe'. The overall PM2.5 (fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre) level was recorded at 143 and the PM10 (fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometre) level at 253, according to SAFAR. Delhi is reeling under the menace of air pollution for the past couple of years. The region faced a major air quality crisis last year when severe pollution level forced the shutdown of schools and colleges. In 2016, the government tried to explore the possibility of cloud seeding for artificial rain but the plan never worked out.