Delhi’s air quality deteriorated on Monday with pollution level touching the ‘hazardous’ category. The Air Quality Index (AQI) around Mandir Marg recorded PM10 levels at 707 and PM2.5 at 663, while PM10 levels were 681 and 676 around Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, respectively, news agency ANI reported. Thick layers of smog blankets can be seen across Delhi-NCR. PM 2.5 and PM 10 were in the 'poor' category in the Lodhi Road area.
Data at 6.30 AM showed severed PM 2.5 levels at every location of the city where the air quality was measured. PM 2.5 are particles in the air with a diameter of fewer than 2.5 micrometres. With Diwali in couple of days, the situation is unlikely to improve anytime soon.
Schools in Delhi-NCR are conducting the morning assembly indoors and have mandated children to wear masks during outdoor activities and distribute gooseberries. These are among some of the measures taken by schools to deal with the alarming level of air pollution.
Delhiites breathed easy on Sunday after air quality significantly improved due to increased wind speed and control measures implemented by the government, even as authorities warned of severe deterioration from Monday.
The overall air quality index (AQI) on Sunday was recorded at 181, which falls in the 'moderate' category. In the morning it was 231, which falls in the 'poor' category, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data said.
The improvement in air quality can be attributed to the increase in surface wind speed to five kmph. This flushed out pollutants, an official of the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said. The reduction in base emission is also suggestive of a more pronounced effect of control measures taken by authorities, the official said.
An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’ and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.