Delhi and NCR's air quality improves slightly but still in 'poor' category

Delhi's air quality improved slightly from 'very poor' to 'poor' category on Wednesday as the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 290 by the System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

PM2.5 (presence of particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) was recorded at 117. PM10 level (presence of particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres) in Delhi stood at 246, according to the data from SAFAR.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded the city's overall AQI at 254 on Tuesday evening.

Taking note of the deteriorating air quality, Delhi's environment minister held a multi-stakeholder review meet and directed all officers and agencies to be in "war mode" to combat air pollution.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday set up a deadline for bursting firecrackers from 8 PM to 10 PM on Diwali and other festivals, 

The court permitted the sale and manufacture of low emission "green" firecrackers countrywide.

An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".

The permissible range or PM2.5 is 60 as per national standards and 25 by international standards.

The PM2.5, also called fine particulates, can be a matter of more serious health concern than PM10.

R K Puram 216 152
Dwarka 265 N/A
Anand Vihar 297 N/A
Gurgaon 261 196
Noida 301 242

(Source: CPCB, SAFAR and

According to reports, parts of the Bhalswa landfill site continued to smoulder, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation announced a slew of measures that it will take for remediation of the over 60-metre high dump.

The fire had been raging at the Bhalswa landfill site since October 20, raising concerns about the air quality in the National Capital Region (NCR) further deteriorating. The fire was extinguished on Sunday.

The slump in air quality is largely attributed to stubble-burning in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana and meteorological reasons such as low winds.

Delhi's air quality improved to 'poor' on Monday. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded the overall AQI of Delhi at 272 in the evening. However, SAFAR reported an AQI in the 'very poor' category.

An official on Sunday said the air quality of Delhi might deteriorate to "severe" category in the coming days as the air becomes heavier and results in the formation of smog.

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