Air quality in Delhi-NCR still ‘severe’, likely to improve by Sunday


The air in Delhi is continued to be poisonous as the pollution index crossed 800 on Saturday evening at some places. The overall AQI of Delhi was in “severe” category (450) as forecast by SAFAR, but is likely to improve to the upper end of the “very poor” category by Sunday and further in the next two days.

Thereafter, it will remain within “very poor” category as surface winds are becoming stronger and will help disperse air pollutants.

Strong transport-level northwesterly winds coming from Punjab and Haryana regions enhanced stubble-burning related intrusion. Share of crop residue burning in PM2.5 as estimated by the SAFAR model was 41 per cent, highest so far for this season and effective fire count by SAFAR also peaked on Sunday to 5,159.

Wind speed at both airports, IGI and Safdarjung, was reported between 10 to 15 kmph till 4 p.m., which then slowed down to calm or light winds. Direction remained from westerly to north-northwesterly direction. Visibility remained at 800 to 1,200 m later in the day in smog.

At 7 p.m., the AQI at Sector 1 Noida was 360, at Sector 62, Noida, it was 648, Vasundhara Ghaziabad was 414, Sriniwaspuri, Delhi was 804, Pusa Delhi was 392, Dr Karni Singh shooting range, Delhi, was 526, according to the data from AQICN of World Quality Index project.

The AQI at Ashok Vihar was 450, Chandni Chowk 442, Dwarka 450, Mandir Marg 440, IGI Airport 428, Lodhi Road 419 and North Campus 440, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered “good”, 51 to 100 “satisfactory”, 101 to 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 to 400 “very poor”, then 401 to 500 “severe”.