The national capital on Saturday woke up to witness fog as air quality was recorded in ‘very poor’ category. The major pollutants PM 2.5 were recorded at 391 and PM 10 at 316 (very poor category) in the RK Puram area. In the Anand Vihar area, the Air Quality Index (AQI) PM 2.5 was at 430 and PM 10 at 403. At the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium area, PM 2.5 was at 361 and PM 10 at 373. AQI at Punjabi Bagh Delhi was recorded 'very poor', PM 2.5 was at 420 while the PM 10 was at 343.
According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research, the air quality over Delhi has deteriorated slightly and touched the upper side of the ‘very poor’ category.
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"However, now wind speed has picked up slightly which may lead to slight improvement in the pollution level till evening today. Since moderate cold wave to severe cold wave conditions are prevailing over major parts of north India surrounding Delhi, appreciable improvement is not expected," it said.
On Friday, the Central Pollution Control Board data showed the overall air quality index (AQI) at the ‘very poor’ level of 394, while the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) showed an AQI of 372, which falls in the ‘very poor’ category. According to CPCB data, 11 areas recorded severe pollution, while 24 areas witnessed ‘very poor’ air quality. In NCR, Ghaziabad recorded ‘severe’ air quality, while Faridabad, Gurgaon and Noida recorded ‘very poor’ air quality.
The overall PM2.5 level – fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre – was recorded at 241 and the PM10 level at 376 in Delhi, the CPCB said.
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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.
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.