Delhi's air quality oscillating between 'poor' and 'very poor' categories: Authorities

People take desperate measures to fight polluted air. File

People take desperate measures to fight polluted air. File

The overall air quality index (AQI) of Delhi at 8.30 am was 320, which falls under "very poor" category.

Delhi's air quality Wednesday oscillated between "poor" and "very poor" categories as authorities warned of severe deterioration of air quality even if "partial toxic crackers" are burned compared to past year. Experts have warned of severe spike in pollution levels after Diwali even if "partial toxic crackers" are burnt compared to previous year. The smog and dust will continue to hover around the atmosphere resulting in no relief from increasing pollution levels.

The CPCB will hold a meeting with the transport department to discuss the deteriorating air quality in Delhi.

Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain on Tuesday appealed to residents of the national capital to celebrate a crackers-free Diwali in order to reduce air pollution.

Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) on Monday experienced the first smog of the season with air pollutants going up many folds higher than the permissible limits and the air quality falling under the "severe-plus" or "emergency" category.

The SAFAR, or System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research, under the Ministry of Earth Science, said in a report that Delhi's air quality was expected to deteriorate to the "severe plus emergency" category after Diwali.

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There are five AQI categories, namely Good + Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe.

On Monday, the overnight change in weather condition, change in wind directions and impact of stubble burning in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana led to higher pollution levels.

In Delhi NCR, the PM2.5 was recorded 237 and PM10 was recorded at 366, the CPCB data said.

The PM10 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres) is expected to reach 575 and PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) is expected to reach 378 a day after Diwali, recording the worst air quality of the year, it said.

Central Pollution Control Board Member Secretary Prashant Gargava on Tuesday said the board has advised transport authorities to prohibit heavy vehicles from entering the city from November 8 to November 10.

The level of PM2.5 pollutants in the air in South Delhi's Okhla area was 644, or 20 times the World Health Organization's declared safe level. "However, if there is negligible fireworks, it will keep AQI in upper level of "very poor", said the forecast by scientists from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune.

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