Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Research | By Dana Schwartz

Delhi's air quality to fall into 'severe plus emergency' category post-Diwali

Delhi's air quality to fall into 'severe plus emergency' category post-Diwali

Twenty-eight areas in the city recorded "poor" air quality, six recorded "very poor" quality, while two others recorded "moderate" air quality, PTI reported.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the overall air quality index (AQI) remained in poor category at 270.

"Air Quality will be bad on Thursday and start to improve from Friday even if partial toxic crackers as compared to 2017 is burned", the government-run agency warned.

The likely spike in pollution levels is also expected to bring down the ventilation index to 7,000m2/s on Wednesday, which could cause breathing trouble. Commuters and joggers faced discomfort following poor air quality in the morning.

While increasing air pollutants make it hard to breathe, pollution on Diwali would add to the woes of residents.

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.

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The condition is expected to prevail till Diwali, however, it may improve if no additional emission from firecracker adds to the Delhi's air, said the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

"Even if 50 percent of the total load of toxic fire crackers as compared to Diwali-2017 is added, the prevailing weather conditions will aggravate the high smoke level and make air quality to persist in severe range for at least two day on November 8 and November 9", the SAFAR said in a report. An AQI between 301 and 400 is considered very poor.

"There was a significant intrusion of stubble generated pollution on Monday, which has shown a declining trend on Tuesday, as we approach Diwali", he said.

Assuming that only half of last year's amount of firecrackers are used, the lead pollutant PM2.5 - particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers - is expected to reach 575 a day after Diwali, the SAFAR report said.

A day ahead of Diwali, air quality in New Delhi and the surrounding areas has deteriorated despite the measures that have been taken to curb the rising pollution.

New Delhi, Nov 6 A group of people on Tuesday gathered outside the office of the Environment Ministry to protest against the alarming rise in the pollution level that has raised health concerns. "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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