The national capital on Thursday woke up to witness dense fog as air quality was recorded in ‘severe’ category. The major pollutants PM 2.5 were recorded at 444 and PM 10 at 410 (very poor category) in the RK Puram area. In the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium area, the Air Quality Index (AQI) PM 2.5 was at 444 and PM 10 at 420. At the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium area, PM 2.5 was at 425 and PM 10 at 106. AQI at Punjabi Bagh Delhi was recorded 'very poor', PM 2.5 was at 441 while the PM 10 was at 401. Delhi's air quality has been oscillating between 'very poor' and 'severe' categories for the past 10 days.
All departures at Delhi airport put on hold due to bad weather/fog conditions from 7:30 am till now. pic.twitter.com/y6yNBDASK7— ANI (@ANI) January 3, 2019
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) and SAFAR said the air quality is likely to remain in the ‘severe’ category owing to low wind speed, which is highly unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants.
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On Wednesday, the overall air quality index (AQI) in the city reached 437, which is in the 'severe' category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. Twenty-six areas in Delhi recorded 'severe' air quality, while three areas gauged 'very poor' air quality, it said. According to the data, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Noida recorded 'severe' air quality.
The overall PM2.5 level (fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) in Delhi was recorded at 315 while the PM10 level was at 499, the CPCB said.
"An active western disturbance is very likely to cause fairly widespread moisture intrusion over northern region, including Delhi. Moderate fog will prevail and helping both gaseous and particulate pollutants to be stagnant near the surface," the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) said.
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Delhi is reeling under the menace of air pollution for the past couple of years. The region faced a major air quality crisis last year when severe pollution level forced the shutdown of schools and colleges. In 2016, the government tried to explore the possibility of cloud seeding for artificial rain but the plan never worked out.
An AQI between 100 to 200 comes under ‘moderate’ category, 201 and 300 is considered ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’ while between 401 and 500 ‘severe’. The overall PM2.5 (fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre) level was recorded at 143 and the PM10 (fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometre) level at 253, according to SAFAR.