New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) Delhi choked on toxic air for the second day as the air quality on Tuesday continued to remain in the ‘severe’ category, owing to unfavourable meteorological conditions.
“Current meteorological conditions — fall in temperature and high moisture — in Delhi are such that it could have led to rainfall but insufficient rain often helps in deteriorating the air quality. Calm surface winds are also not allowing pollutants to disperse,” System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said.
However, it said, the air quality in Delhi may recover slightly to ‘very poor’ by Wednesday evening.
The agency had on Monday said that only sufficient amounts of rainfall might bring down pollution levels in Delhi-NCR but if it is inadequate, the air quality might deteriorate.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi at 5 p.m. was 413 against 403 on Monday, both in the ‘severe’ category on a scale of 0 to 500. In the national capital region, the AQI of Ghaziabad was 433 at 5 p.m., 403 in Faridabad, 429 in Greater Noida and 420 in Noida — all in the ‘severe’ category since Sunday.
Gurugram’s air quality, which has been faring well as compared to other NCR regions, also deteriorated from ‘moderate’ or ‘poor’ levels and reached ‘very poor’ levels (388) on Tuesday evening.
SAFAR, in its forecast, has also predicted an increase in moisture levels in Delhi after two-three days due to a western disturbance.
“Western disturbance over the northern part of India is active. Although it is not posing any problem to air quality at present, its withdrawal may increase moisture level in Delhi air after 2-3 days,” the agency said.
The major pollutant PM2.5, or particles with diameter less than 2.5 micrometres, also remained in the ‘severe’ levels as easterly winds brought along moisture.
As per the data of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the average concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 in Delhi at 5 p.m. was 277 and 474 microgrammes per cubic meters on Tuesday. Across NCR, it was 263 and 454 units, respectively.