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Despite improvement, AQI remains 'very poor'

Despite improvement, AQI remains very poor

NEW DELHI: Delhi's air quality level improved slightly on Saturday but remained in the 'very poor' category, due to poor dispersal of pollutants and stagnant meteorological conditions. The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was recorded at 346, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.

Meanwhile, the System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) recorded the AQI at 340, also in the 'very poor' category.

A report by SAFAR said that AQI has "improved to the lower range of 'very poor' category, despite adverse weather conditions, reflecting the impact of reduced base emission."

However, it predicted deterioration of air quality on Monday. "The improvement is suggestive of the effect of control measures," the report said.

The AQI has improved in the last two days, with Friday recording an AQI of 370, and the SAFAR report has attributed it to measures such as halt on all construction activities involving excavation, check on polluting vehicles and sprinkling of water on roads imposed by authorities.

The report said at this persistent stage of westerly disturbances, some instability is good for dispersion of pollutants.

However, it warned that moisture in Delhi's atmosphere, fall in temperature and upper winds from stubble burning sites will "adversely impact air quality and as per the SAFAR-forecasting model, the AQI will touch upper level of 'very poor' from November 5 afternoon onwards".

On Tuesday, AQI entered the 'severe' category, prompting authorities to adopt a slew of measures.

They included halt on all construction activities involving excavation, suspension of civil construction in Delhi and other NCR districts, and closure of all stone crushers and hot mix plants causing dust pollution.

Meanwhile, as part of the government's measures to check pollution, Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain conducted a surprise inspection of vehicles between 12 am and 2 am on Saturday, accompanied by a joint team of Transport Department and DPCC, at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border and near Ghazipur landfill site.

Hussain wanted to examine the action being taken by the enforcement team of his Department deployed at all Delhi borders to take action against non-complying vehicles that clandestinely enter Delhi from UP and other states and cause air pollution.

Around 43 teams have been formed by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation for night patrolling to check incidents of burning of garbage.

Twelve mechanical dust sweeping machines and around 110 vehicles for sprinkling water on roads have also been deployed.

Roushan Ali

Roushan Ali

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