Delhi air quality 'very poor' on Monday morning as AQI touches 369-mark

People walk across India Gate lawns amidst fog, in New Delhi, Friday, Oct 26, 2018.
Delhi-NCR woke up to a hazy Monday morning, with the Air Quality Index at a 'very poor' 369, according to SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research).

The air quality in Delhi-NCR has consistently been in the 'poor' and the ' very poor' category over the past one week and is expected to worsen further in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the CPCB-led task force has recommended avoiding outdoor exercises between November 1 and November 10, as the air is expected to turn toxic in the coming days in the national capital.

It also recommended stringent measures, including minimisation of private vehicles and shutdown of coal and biomass industries to deal with the alarming increase of pollution in the national capital

The AQI was recorded at 403 at 4 pm in Gurugram on Sunday which is 'severe'. It was a 'very poor' 366 for Delhi.

An AQI of 0-100 is considered 'Good+Satisfactory', 101 to 200 'moderate', 201 to 300 'poor', 301 to 400 'very poor' and 401 to 500 'severe', as per SAFAR.

According to the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research said on Sunday that pollution is likely to increase to the upper levels of very poor but will not touch "severe" level for the next three days.

"This is owing to stagnation conditions forced by calm winds with low ventilation and moderate stubble injection," according to the SAFAR.

A CPCB-led task force has recommended to the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority implementation of stringent measures from November 1 to 10, predicting further deterioration in the air quality ahead of Diwali.

Some of these recommendations include the shutdown of coal and biomass factories, intensification of inspection by the Transport Department to check polluting vehicles and control traffic congestion in Delhi NCR during November 1 and 10.

The task force also issued an advisory to the public, asking them to avoid outdoor strenuous activities and minimise the use of private vehicles.

The task force also warned that at the beginning of November the situation may worsen further on account of localised emissions on the festival and due to stubble burning.

The PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) was recorded at 236, the highest of this season. The PM2.5, also called "fine particulates," can be a matter of more serious health concern than PM10.

The PM10 level (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres) in Delhi stood at 394, according to the CPCB data.

SAFAR also issued a health advisory due to increased pollution level in Delhi, urging people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children to avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.

It also recommended people to go for shorter walks instead of jogs, keeping windows closed and wearing masks while stepping outside.

Stubble burning from Punjab, Haryana contributed to 32% of pollution in Delhi on Saturday: SAFAR

Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana contributed to 32 per cent of Delhi's overall pollution on Saturday, according to a report by the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

The report, which analyses the impact of pollutant PM2.5, showed that the highest contribution since October 11 by stubble burning was seen on Friday at 36 per cent.

On Saturday, about 32 per cent of pollution by PM2.5 was caused by stubble burning by farmers in Punjab and Haryana, it said.

The report said that the stubble burning contribution to pollution will significantly reduce in the next two days.

"Only 19 per cent pollution of PM2.5 would be caused by stubble burning on Sunday. Stubble burning would contribute to 15 per cent PM2.5 per cent pollution on Monday," an official with the SAFAR said.

PM2.5 is the presence of particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres, while PM10 is the presence of particles in the air with, and both are considered the major atmospheric pollutants. PM2.5, in particular, poses greater harm as its fine particles can easily be inhaled into the respiratory tract.

"On Thursday and Friday more stubble was burnt in Punjab and Haryana due to which its contribution to PM2.5 pollution increased," the official said, adding that the impact of pollution by stubble burning on the national capital could be seen only a day after the stubble is burnt.

"Pollution would reduce in the next couple of days if the weather condition remains the same. The weather conditions include wind direction, temperature etc," he said.

The report also analysed the trends of different factors causing pollution since 2010 and it said transport emission in the national capital has increased significantly at 41 per cent in the last eight years.

Here are the pollution figures from different corners of the city:

Place PM2.5 level PM10 level
Jahangirpuri 465 715
Noida NA 400
Vasundhara 476 660
Dwarka 251 519
Gurugram 382 NA

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