The residents woke of national capital Delhi up to yet another dense foggy morning on Sunday. The air quality index (AQI) was recorded in the “poor” category with major pollutants PM 2.5 at 261 and PM 10 at 262 at the Lodhi Road area. This showed a marked improvement in the air quality from Saturday’s “very poor” and Friday’s “severe” ranges, as recorded by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). The improvement in air quality was attributed to an increase in the appreciable wind speed to 3.8 kmph in spite of dense fog and lower boundary layer height, SAFAR said.
It is predicted that the AQI would improve marginally and slowly, however, it would remain between the “poor” and the “very poor” ranges for the next few days. However, the fog has resulted in trains getting delayed and flight schedules going awry.
A widespread intrusion of moisture over northern Indian region including Delhi is expected due to an active western disturbance. If this western disturbance causes a sufficient amount of rain, it is expected that the AQI would rapidly move into 'poor' range, SAFAR mentioned. Otherwise, pre-shower conditions or little shower would only aggravate the adverse meteorological conditions.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal had on Friday reviewed the air pollution situation in the city and asked agencies to direct field officers to visit hotspot and heavily penalise instances of burning of waste, polluting units and dust-generating activities. Baijal also asked the Delhi government to ensure greening of areas where waste has been lifted to control dust pollution.
“To control air pollution, night patrolling need to be conducted by teams comprising representatives from MCDs, revenue department, DPCC. Industrial associations/market traders associations, citizen groups are to be sensitised,” he said in a statement.
Baijal chaired a meeting convened by chairman, EPCA, on Friday at Raj Niwas to review air pollution, waste management and sealing of industries operating in non-conforming areas like Narela, Bawana, Mundka and adjoining areas. The meeting was attended by Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain; Bhure Lal, Chairman, EPCA. The L-G directed the Delhi Jal Board to ensure drinking water supply in industrial areas.