The air quality was recorded 'poor' on Tuesday. The major pollutants PM 2.5 were recorded at 379 and PM 10 at 288 (poor category) in the Wazirpur area. In the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium area, the Air Quality Index (AQI) PM 2.5 was at 376 and PM 10 at 266. At the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium area, PM 2.5 was at 312 and PM 10 at 258. AQI at Punjabi Bagh Delhi was recorded 'very poor', PM 2.5 was at 343 while the PM 10 was at 321. Delhi's air quality has been oscillating between 'very poor' and 'severe' categories for the past ten days.
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“The air quality is likely to improve further, much faster during the day, as a moderate surface wind speed is positively working to disperse pollutants, which is the key factor now to keep pollution in check under cool and foggy weather conditions," the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) said.
SAFAR said that the relief is expected not to last more than two days due to high levels of humidity and dropping temperature which would hold the pollutants in the air. The AQI is expected to increase gradually from Tuesday but it would continue to remain in 'very poor' range.
On Monday, the overall PM2.5 level (fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) was recorded at 160 in Delhi, while the PM10 (fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres) level was at 243, SAFAR said.
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.