Capital’s air quality likely to be in ‘poor’ to ‘ very poor’ category for next two days
The air quality of Delhi and Gurugram deteriorated on Tuesday and nearly touched the ‘very poor’ category.
According to government-run monitoring agency SAFAR, the air quality of Delhi is likely to be in the ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ category for the next two days.
North body fined
Meanwhile, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has imposed a fine of ₹20 lakh on the North Delhi Municipal Corporation for flouting dust control norms at Bhalswa landfill.
Environment Minister Gopal Rai conducted an inspection of the landfill and found “large scale violations” of the guidelines issued by the Delhi government.
“The incompetence of certain departments in tackling the problem of pollution in Delhi is visible. We have directed the DPCC to take adequate and strict action in the matter,” the Minister said.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi on Tuesday was 300 — on the verge of ‘very poor’ category, up from 261 (poor) on Monday, as per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.
The AQI in Gurugram was 288 (poor) on Tuesday, slightly up from 259 (poor) on Monday. The AQI in Noida was 286, up from 274 on Monday.
The AQI for the three cities are the average values of the past 24 hours, which is released by the CPCB at 4 pm every day, and treated as the official figure.
In Delhi, 19 out of the 34 monitoring stations were showing ‘very poor’ air quality at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the CPCB. The stations with ‘very poor’ air included ITO, IGI, Wazirpur, Mundka and others.
Delhi’s air quality was expected to improve on Tuesday, but a drop in speed of local surface winds is one of the reasons for the air quality worsening.
“Though boundary layer wind direction has changed from north-westerly to easterly as predicted, the impact of disturbed wind circulation due to deep depression over west-central Bay of Bengal could not be realised in Delhi as it was expected, SAFAR said in a statement.
“In Delhi, temperature and wind speed decreased on Monday night. Also, mixing depth [the height of the atmosphere from the ground in which pollutants can be dispersed] also reduced. Due to this, the pollutants could not disperse and they accumulated,” said a SAFAR official, explaining the increase in air pollution.
“There was a rise in stubble burning fires observed on Monday around Punjab, Haryana, and neighbouring border regions with 675 fires. But the transport wind direction is unfavourable and hence, only marginal stubble contribution in PM2.5 is expected,” SAFAR said.
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