The last days of October are becoming worst in terms of air quality in New Delhi. A layer of thick haze enveloped the capital a day after Diwali as the city’s air quality on Monday plummeted to‘severe’ for the first time in this season.
On Tuesday, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), Delhi’s overall air quality index (AQI) was 463 at 11.30 am.
The AQI at Chandni Chowk, Pusa, Airport Terminal T3, Lodhi Road Noida, Mathura Road, Ayanagar, IIT Delhi and, Dhirpur was 466, 480, 460,436, 668, 413, 477, 483, and 553 respectively. In 2018, AQI was recorded to be at 390 on the day after Diwali whereas; it had crossed the 400-mark in 2017, as per CPCB’s air quality bulletin. In 2016, AQI was far worse at 445 while in 2015, it was measured at 360.
Every year, air pollution levels in Delhi has spiked over the safe limits on Diwali night, albeit the overall 24-hour average of air quality index released Monday settled in the ‘very poor’ category at 368. This was recorded as the worst AQI in the national capital since February this year.
However, the overall 24-hour-average of AQI of 368 released by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) at 4 pm on Monday is the best post-Diwali figure in the capital since 2015.
Some of the do’s and don’ts for safety from smog are as follows:
- Keep air-purifying plants at homes and offices.
- Avoid stepping out or indulging in outdoor activities when the level of air pollution or smog is high.
- Don’t burn garbage and prevent others in the neighborhood from doing the same.
- Use alternative modes of transport like car pooling with friends or go for public transport
- Refrain from strenuous activities that lead to inhalation of greater volumes of minute pollutants
The major pollutants PM 2.5 reached 376 “Very Poor”, while PM 10 was ‘Poor’ which is at 278, according to centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) at Lodhi Road.
Meanwhile, this situation is not only affecting Delhi but also the areas surrounding the national capital region also recorded average AQI levels in the ‘very poor’ category. While Noida at 397 was the worst followed by Ghaziabad at 392 and Gurgaon at 372 whereas Faridabad recorded at 358.
Ghaziabad’s air quality on Tuesday got deteoriated from ‘very poor’ category to ‘severe’ category a day before with AQI recorded at 459 making it country’s most polluted city. The condition will take at least two days to show improvement. Utsav Sharma, regional officer of Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) reported that the Air Quality Index (AQI) of four monitoring stations- Vasundhara, Indirapuram, Sanjay Nagar, and Loni was recorded at 466,454,462 and 454 respectively.
Air quality in Delhi took a hit after Diwali night due to a combination of smoke from firecrackers, stubble burning and unfavourable meteorological conditions. The situation got worse because of onset of winters.