Delhi's air quality likely to improve from Saturday as dust begins to settle down, says IMD official; Rajasthan to get no respite

New Delhi: Persistently suffering "severe" air quality for the third day in a row, the National Capital Region's (NCR) dusty situation is likely to improve from Saturday onwards, Met official said on Friday.

Coarse particles in Delhi's air, due to dust-raising winds from Rajasthan and excessive construction activities around in the NCR, bought the air quality to severe on 13 June. Due to this, PM10 or particles with a diameter less than 10 microns became the major pollutant and PM2.5 or finer particles the secondary in NCR.

 Delhis air quality likely to improve from Saturday as dust begins to settle down, says IMD official; Rajasthan to get no respite

A thick blanket of dust envelops New Delhi. PTI

At 3 pm on Friday, the PM10 averaged at 717 units, against 765.6 units at the same time on Thursday. However, by 5 pm on Friday, the levels dropped down by 656 units.

While Delhi and the regions around it may start seeing some improvement from Saturday onwards due to change in winds, Rajasthan will get no respite till Tuesday.

"The situation is set to improve in Delhi from Saturday and by Sunday, there will be considerable improvement in air quality as dust will begin settling down," India Meteorological Department scientist Kuldeep Srivastava told IANS.

There are also slight chances of very light rains on Sunday around Delhi, which may improve the situation further, IMD said.

According to private weather agency Skymet, winds are set to change from currently dust-raising westerly and south-westerly to north-westerly on Saturday which may slightly improve the situation.

"Currently winds from Rajasthan and Balochistan are bringing in dust, which is set to change to north-westerly," Skymet director Mahesh Palawat told IANS.

Meanwhile, the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi saw deteriorating trend, with AQI at 4 pm on Friday was 447 against 431 on Thursday, both severe, on a scale of 0 to 500. However, the prominent pollutant on Friday was PM10 while on Thursday it was both PM2.5 and PM10.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday also barred construction activities and stone crushers around Delhi for three days.

"Dust and excessive construction activities around NCR are the primary reason of such a deterioration of air quality and giving rise to the coarser PM10 as the primary pollutant," a scientist at Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) told IANS.

The scientist, however, added that there is also a considerable presence of finer particle or PM2.5, which arise from vehicles and diesel generator sets.

However, neither the generator sets were barred in Delhi, nor the entry of trucks was stopped, as provisioned under Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) of Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority for NCR.

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Updated Date: Jun 15, 2018 19:40:43 IST