Delhi’s air quality remained poor for the second day due to change in direction of wind, which is now flowing from the stubble burning areas, authorities said on Saturday.
The overall air quality index (AQI) of 211 was recorded at 4 pm on Saturday which is in the poor category. On Friday, the AQI of Delhi was registered at 259.
Gurgaon recorded ‘very poor’ air quality at 330, while other satellite cities Faridabad and Noida recorded poor air quality at 247 and 232 respectively, according Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.
Earlier, it was predicted that a dust storm will hit the national capital which would further deteriorate the air quality, but, at present, there are no indications of a big storm. Authorities are closely monitoring the situation, a senior official at the Supreme Court mandated body Environment Pollution Control Authority said.
The drop in the air quality is due to change in direction of wind, which is now flowing from areas in Haryana and Punjab where stubble burning is taking place, a CPCB official said.
“This is the period of monsoon withdrawals and a low pressure system in the Arabian Sea is developing. Such large scale processes tends to calm the wind speed which is usual for this time.
“This tends to increase pollution level. The impact of local transport is insignificant so far,” Project Director at the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), Gufran Beig, said.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor, and 401-500 severe.
The PM10 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 10mm) was at 191 in Delhi and the PM2.5 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 2.5 mm) in the city was 94, according to a data by SAFAR.
SAFAR has also forecast further deterioration of air quality in the next two days with the PM10 expected to touch 210 and PM2.5 to reach 104 in the next three days.