The national capital on Sunday woke up to witness fog as air quality was recorded in ‘very poor’ category. The major pollutants PM 2.5 were recorded at 348 and PM 10 at 318 (very poor category) in the RK Puram area. In the Anand Vihar area, the Air Quality Index (AQI) PM 2.5 was at 436 and PM 10 at 436. At the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium area, PM 2.5 was at 361 and PM 10 at 381. AQI at Punjabi Bagh Delhi was recorded 'very poor', PM 2.5 was at 414 while the PM 10 was at 312. Delhi's air quality has been oscillating between 'very poor' and 'severe' categories for the past 10 days.
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"Air quality over Delhi is very poor which may improve slightly as winds are relatively high during day but predicted to deteriorate on Sunday as winds speed is unlikely to remain the same and other meteorological conditions are already not favourable. Cold wave conditions are likely to persist at least for next 2 days," the SAFAR said.
"The air quality index will continue to fluctuate between 360-380 for the next 3 days which falls under upper side of 'very poor' category," it added. The SAFAR also pointed out that a consistent "day-night trend" is observed for the past one week.
"During night, combination of calm wind and colder conditions is elevating the pollution level where in many locations, 24 hour rolling average (AQI) is touching severe levels for few hours whereas during the day, wind speed is picking up slightly and temperature is increasing to keep level in very poor range," it said.
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.