The air quality was recorded 'very poor' on Wednesday. The major pollutants PM 2.5 were recorded at 329 and PM 10 at 233 (very poor category) in the Wazirpur area. In the Rohini area, the Air Quality Index (AQI) PM 2.5 was at 343 and PM 10 at 232. At the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium area, PM 2.5 was at 306 and PM 10 at 221. AQI at Punjabi Bagh Delhi was recorded 'very poor', PM 2.5 was at 315 while the PM 10 was at 202. Delhi's air quality has been oscillating between 'very poor' and 'severe' categories for the past ten days.
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On Tuesday, the overall PM2.5 level in Delhi was recorded at 152 which falls in the 'very poor' category while the PM10 level was recorded at 248 under 'moderate' category, said the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). As many as 14 trains to Delhi were also delayed due to low visibility caused by fog.
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.
The Delhi government has not yet ruled out enforcing the odd-even traffic rule if pollution levels in the city spiked above safe limits.
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.
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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.