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Toxic smog clears in Delhi, but air quality stays 'severe'

Toxic smog clears in Delhi, but air quality stays severe
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NEW DELHI: There was no decline in pollution levels in the Delhi-NCR region on Friday as major pollutants across all monitoring stations remained at 'severe' level. However, the toxic smog over the Capital was cleared as the wind speed was better.
The data collected from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) showed that the levels of PM2.5 and PM10 (particles with a diameter less than 2.5 and 10mm) were 'severe'. The CPCB data showed the average Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi at 480, close to 'severe-plus', while the average PM2.5 (particles with a diameter less than 2.5) of 24 active monitoring stations was 479 units by 12 pm.
The safe limit for PM2.5 is 60 micrograms per cubic meter, according to national standards and 25 micrograms per cubic meter as per international standards. The average AQI of Delhi and NCR was 'severe' at 473 units while the average PM2.5 was 472 units.
"Wind speeds are increasing and you will likely see a change in the air quality around the weekend, even though the north-westerly is still blowing," said Dipankar Saha, head of CPCB. According to the MeT department, the visibility remained at 1,000 metres at 5.30 am, but it dropped to 400 metres at 8.30 am. The minimum temperature settled at 13 degrees Celsius, one notch below the season's average. The humidity level recorded at 8.30 am was 93 percent.
As per the MeT department, this smog will go away with the rise of the wind speed. However, the department also said that this can only happen if the vehicular pollution and dust pollution stay under control. The Delhi government has already taken several steps to combat the air pollution. The third round of the odd-even scheme is also likely to start from Monday, though the National Green Tribunal has asked to halt the decision till the government submit proper data of outcome.
Several agencies have already started sprinkling of water at various places of the city which might lead to a decrease in dust pollution. The MeT has also predicted clear sky in the upcoming days. According to the experts, if the sky is clear and wind speed is good then the smog condition will improve. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee has also started monitoring the air quality at various stations in the city. The data showed that the wind speed has increased in Delhi from the last day.

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