As Delhi Continues to Grasp in Toxic Smog, Air quality Worsens to ‘Severe’

Anju Bisht

, News & Research
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Air quality deteriorated further due to the accumulation of pollutants in calm wind conditions, Delhi-NCR continued to choke due to the havoc of toxic smog. There was a higher ingress of smoke from stubble burning also low cloud cover on Wednesday.


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The first time in this season average AQI of the city at 4 pm entered the “severe” zone that deteriorated from 400 (very poor) to 419 on Wednesday. Apart from Gurgaon, the quality of air in all neighboring cities was similarly “severe” and Ghaziabad recording the highest pollution levels in the country (AQI 478) for the second day running.


According to the data from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), toxins from firecrackers of Diwali were yet to clear fully where the contribution from stubble burning in Delhi’s pollution add another high of 35% on Wednesday. It is said more than a third of the city’s air pollution came from outside sources and this share is likely to drop to 27% on Thursday said SAFAR.


The CPCB task force announcing that coal-based industries will now remain shut till November 2 including industries that have not switched to PNG due to the deteriorating air quality. Also, the task force extended the ban on night construction by 4 hours. On Wednesday, CPCB said, “Construction activities like earthwork, which have potential to generate dust, hot-mix plants and stone crushers will not operate from 6 pm to 10 am till November 2 in Delhi-NCR.”


It is expected that wind speeds may pick up slightly by Thursday, but no significant improvement is expected. The scientist at the IMD, Kuldeep Srivastava said, cloud cover should also reduce, which could lead to improved visibility.


No Significant Drop In Temperatures In Next 2 Days



Wind speed may pick up slightly by Thursday but the changes will not be too significant. Srivastava said, “A combination of factors like reduction in cloud cover and improved wind speed may bring down pollution slightly, but real improvement is only expected around November 2-3, when wind speeds pick up.”


The pollutants from stubble burning arriving from Punjab and Haryana will continue to influence Delhi-NCR this week. AQI of Delhi has steadily worsened since Diwali day which was recorded at 337 (very poor) and 368 the day after Diwali where CPCB’s official daily bulletin reading for Tuesday was recorded at 400 (very poor). As temperatures dropped, the quality of air had, however, touched “severe” levels on both Monday and Tuesday night.


In Delhi, the maximum temperature was recorded at 30.8 degrees Celsius and the minimum was recorded at 20.2 degrees Celsius– which was 4 times more than normal, as the cloud cover trapped heat and prevented a sharp fall in night temperature. No significant drop in temperatures is expected in the next few days said Met officials.


Weather experts said the problem aggravated due to unfavorable wind speed that leads to the accumulation of pollutants. A relief is likely on the weekend, they said.


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