Pollutant level at all-time high in Delhi during morning hours
New Delhi: The national capital on Thursday saw one of the worst surges in the pollutant concentration in air during morning hours, with PM2.5 crossing the 700 level in east Delhi's Anand Vihar, while recorded as 'severe' and 'very poor' at several other places.
With stubble burning continuing in neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, also revealed by the satellite images of NASA's Fire Mapper, the north-westerly winds coming from those states are affecting Delhi's air quality, even as the wind speed is comparatively low.
"Currently Delhi is receiving moderate winds coming from the direction of Punjab. The winds are not high now and are around 10 kmph. However, these winds will continue at least till October 16," Mahesh Palawat, director private weather forecaster at Skymet, told IANS.
According to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) data, the level of PM2.5 or the particles in air with diameter less than 2.5 mm, touched 772 after 5 a.m. at Anand Vihar area, while dropping to 350 in next hour, still way beyond the permissible range. The international permissible limit for PM2.5 is 25 micro grammes per cubic metre while for India, it is 60.
The PM2.5 level at Mandir Marg in central Delhi oscillated between 135 to 165 in the morning hours, 131 to 205 at Punjabi Bagh in west Delhi and 139 to 174 at R.K. Puram in south Delhi.
The average PM2.5 level in Delhi till 4.30 p.m. was 112, showed data recorded by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
PM2.5 is one of the major and common pollutants with direct consequences on life expectancy. Any recorded value between 251-350 is considered "severe" for PM2.5, while value between 121 to 250 units is considered "very poor".
The severe value of PM2.5 affects healthy people and seriously impacts those living with diseases.
According to SAFAR, Delhi, on Thursday till 4.30 p.m., four areas - Delhi University, Pitampura (both north Delhi), Lodhi Road (central Delhi) and Mathura Road (south Delhi) - had "very poor" air quality in terms of PM2.5.
In other places including Indira Gandhi International Airport, adjoining Gurugram (Haryana) and Noida (Uttar Pradesh), the air quality was placed under "poor" category.