Higher wind speed only hope for improvement, say experts
NEW DELHI: Any change in Delhi's weather is the only hope that citizens can now have to get rid of the thick smog and the 'severe-plus emergency' level of pollution, officials of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and experts have observed.
However, if the weather deteriorates, the Capital's air quality will also deteriorate.
"The pollution has increased, but the wind speed is good. Hence there is a chance the city will recover from the situation soon. However, if wind speed decreases, then the situation will worsen. Hence, the EPCA has already asked to ban all the truck to enter Delhi," said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy, Centre for Science and Environment.
Meanwhile, a statement by SAFAR said, "Surface winds continue to play a major role. The speed has increased overnight from three kmph to five kmph and continued to disperse pollution as predicted. However, wind speed is expected to reduce by evening. If the smoke layer is formed which may also bring down inversion layer to trap pollutants."
It added that a large number of stubble burning incidents have been reported, but it is a combination of stubble burning and widespread bursting of firecrackers in the region that has caused the problem.
It is to be noted that the contribution of PM2.5 and PM10 emissions to air quality deterioration has not increased much compared to last year. Earlier, forecasting adverse weather conditions for Diwali, i.e. November 8, officials of SAFAR had noted that calm winds and shallow fog in the morning would impact AQI in one of two ways.
Officials said if fireworks were high, "smoke will suddenly get trapped, forcing overnight levels of particles in the air to make significantly higher than they would be natural to 'severe' level, and will stick that way until sunrise or breeze mixes it."
In case of negligible fireworks, AQI would be in 'very poor' range, they had forecast.
Stubble burning induced impact is expected to decline and if no additional emissions from firecrackers are added, air quality will improve, the officials had earlier said.
However, even if 50 per cent of the total load of toxic firecrackers as compared to last year's Diwali is added, the prevailing weather conditions will aggravate the high smoke level and make air quality to persist in 'severe' range for at least two days, they had added.