Air quality in the nation’s capital was classified as “severe” on Saturday morning as farmers in the Punjab and neighboring areas continued to set their fields on fire to remove crop residues.
The central government’s air quality early warning system for Delhi said the city’s air quality is also expected to remain “serious” on Diwali.
Experts said that while weather conditions were “moderately” favorable for the dispersal of pollutants, a “very high” number of farm fires in Punjab was the main reason for the “severe” air quality.
According to the Air Quality Monitor of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, SAFAR, Delhi’s Global Air Quality Index (AQI) was 443 this morning.
An AQI between zero 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”.
PM10 levels at Delhi-NCR stood at 486 micrograms per cubic meter (g / m3) as of 9 a.m., according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
PM10 is particulate matter with a diameter of 10 microns and inhaled into the lungs. These particles include dust, pollen, and mold spores. PM10 levels below 100g / m3 are considered safe in India.
The levels of the finer PM2.5 particles that can even enter the bloodstream were 292 g / m3 at 9 a.m. PM2.5 levels up to 60 g / m3 are considered safe.
The Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi said the number of farm fires in Punjab remains very high (around 4,000) which is likely to impact the quality of the air. air in Delhi-NCR and other parts of northwest India.
He said the AQI is expected to remain in the “upper end of the ‘very poor’ category on November 13 and the ‘severe’ category on November 14 (Diwali)”.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the maximum wind speed was 14 kilometers per hour on Friday and the minimum temperature was 11.8 degrees Celsius.
Calm winds and low temperatures keep pollutants close to the ground, while favorable wind speeds help disperse them.
VK Soni, head of IMD’s Environmental Monitoring Research Center, said: “A very high number of farm fires in Punjab are the main reason for the poor air quality in the region.
SAFAR said thatch burning’s share of Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution was estimated at 21% on Friday. It was 42% on Thursday, the maximum so far this season.
Last year, thatch burning’s contribution to Delhi’s pollution peaked at 44% on November 1, according to SAFAR data.
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