Delhi’s air quality remains in ‘poor’ category, likely to dip further

Delhi’s air quality continued to be in the ‘poor’ category on Monday with the Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded at 222 at 8am, according to data provided by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Last week, Delhi was covered in a blanket of dense smog and the air quality had plunged to the ‘emergency’ range for at least three days, forcing the city administration to close schools for two days and impose temporary prohibitions on industrial and construction activities.

AQI started improving from Saturday – with average AQI recorded at 357 for the day by the central pollution monitoring agency. With that, the air quality had improved from ‘severe’ to the ‘very poor’ category after four days.

A CPCB-led task force reviewed the pollution levels on Saturday and lifted the ban on industries run on coal. Schools opened too after a two-day emergency break.

On Sunday, further improvement was witnessed and the air quality was recorded in the ‘poor’ category. The average AQI for the day was recorded at 215.

However, the relief is expected to be short-lived as conditions are again likely to deteriorate from Wednesday (November 20) when a cover of clouds and fog will return, government agencies warned.

“Air quality will continue to be in ‘poor’ category on Monday. However, it may dip on Tuesday with slowing down of winds and may fall into ‘very poor’ zone,” the forecast bulletin released by the Air Quality Early Warning System of the Union ministry of earth sciences (MoES) said.

Scientists in the agency also said that wind speed will drop to 15-20kmph on Monday and it is likely to further slow down to 6-8kmph on Tuesday, when air quality may dip again.

They warned that the air quality could deteriorate further on November 20-21 due to a host of factors—low wind speed, cloud cover, moderate fog and drop in mercury, which together result in a toxic combination of smog.

Source : Hindustan Times

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