After almost five consecutive days of choking on toxic air, Delhi and neighbouring National Capital Region on Sunday woke up to some respite with the Air Quality Index (AQI) improving to "poor" category from "severe" category on Saturday.
The overall AQI in Delhi stood at 254 at 9 am on Sunday, rising to 'poor' category on Sunday, as compared to 412 on Saturday. The AQI in Faridabad was 228, Ghaziabad 241, Greater Noida 192, Noida 224 and Gurgaon 193.
The AQI between the range of 51 to 100 is considered as satisfactory; 101-200 is moderate; 201-300 falls under the category of poor. While 300-400 is considered as 'very poor', levels between 401-500 fall under the 'hazardous category'.
The AQI recorded in Lodhi Road in Delhi was 218 (PM 2.5) and 217 (PM 10) on Sunday morning. Mathura Road recorded a figure of 304, IIT Delhi docked at 324 and Airport Terminal 3 at 315.
The National Capital recorded a minimum temperature of 16 degrees Celsius while the humidity was 71 percent. The weatherman has forecast mainly clear skies for the day with the maximum temperature likely to hover around 28 degrees Celsius, reported PTI.
In Noida, after reeling under a layer of hazardous levels of pollution for almost a week, the air quality significantly improved but remained in the 'poor' category. According to data provided by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Air Quality Index (AQI) at Sector 62 Noida docked at 221, which falls in the 'poor' category. The current AQI is down from 573 (severe) that was recorded on Saturday.
Noida: Air Quality Index (AQI) at 221 (poor) in Sector-62 area, as per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. pic.twitter.com/i4cJbeAGsH
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 17, 2019
Isolated pockets of the region were covered in a thick blanket of smog due to the spike in pollutants in the air. The smog cover also reduced visibility at major junctions of the city in the wee hours.
Schools in Delhi and neighbouring Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida also reopened on Saturday after remaining shut for two days in view of a harmful spike in air pollution. The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the government's air quality monitor, said strong boundary-layer and surface winds were flushing out the accumulated pollutants.
"High surface winds in Delhi are predicted to continue for the next two days. "The effective stubble fire count is low. Even if it is high, transport-level wind direction is not favourable (northerly), and the speed is so high (42kmph) that plume will surpass Delhi and complete its lifespan before it touches the bottom end of the Indo-Gangetic plains (Mathura-Agra)," a SAFAR official said on Saturday.
In Gurugram, the AQI at NISE Gwal Pahari area read at 301, which falls in the 'very poor' category, as per the CPCB data.
— ANI (@ANI) November 17, 2019
The share of stubble burning in Delhi's pollution on Sunday is predicted to be not more than two percent, the official said. The AQI is likely to enter the poor category on Monday. However, pollution is likely to increase 20 November onward as another western disturbance will result in a dip in wind speed.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Nov 17, 2019 12:13:47 IST