After a week-long gas chamber-like conditions, Delhi heaved a sigh of relief as the Air Quality Index improved from critical to severe on Tuesday. According to SAFAR, the Ministry of Earth Science-backed special app, the AQI in Delhi was registered at 411 in morning on Tuesday. Even Gurugram that recorded an unbreathable AQI of 833 on Monday, the morning of Tuesday seemed to be slightly better. The Air Quality Index in Gurugram was registered at 405. However, Noida was the worst zone in the National Capital Region. The AQI in Noida was recorded at 493. In fact, Ghaziabad fared better than Noida. Localities such as Indirapuram and Vasundhara recorded a much better AQI of 393 and 377 respectively.
Experts say that the air movement in NCR has improved. With the winds blowing away the haze, the AQI will continue to dip. It should also be noted that Tuesday’s recordings come on a day after launch of odd-even car-rationing scheme in Delhi. Though Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that 15 lakh cars were off roads, the experts need to make an assessment whether it led drop in the Air Quality Index in Delhi-NCR.
The Air Quality Index is a tool for effective communication of air quality status to people in terms, which are easy to understand. It transforms complex air quality data of various pollutants into a single number (index value), nomenclature and colour. There are six AQI categories, namely Good + Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe. On Monday, Delhi-NCR woke up to yet another smog-filled morning with no relief from ongoing toxic air conditions. According the ‘System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research’ (SAFAR), the Air Quality Index of Delhi was recorded at 708 at 7:42 am. Neighbouring Noida much worse at AQI of 720. The worst zone in the NCR was Gurugram at scary AQI of 833. The breathable level according to SAFAR is between 0 and 50. Ghaziabad continues to reel under deadly smog with the Central Pollution Control Board registering AQI under ‘severe’ category. Indirapuram recorded AQI of 471, Vasundhara registered AQI of 465 and Loni was reeling under 485.