Air pollution levels in New Delhi are back in the hazardous region. Air Quality Index (AQI) is in the ‘severe’ category now in many parts of the national capital. Delhi pollution has hit a 10-day spike. The AQI, released by the SAFAR, that is, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research, is hovering in the ‘very poor’ category.
Air pollution danger engulfs Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR)
PM10 and PM2.5 levels are in the region of 314 and 182 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3). The safety limits are 100 and 60, respectively. The agency has further predicted air pollution levels to rise as well as stay in the ‘very poor’ category for the coming few days. AQI in RK Puram area has been recorded at 564. PM10 and PM2.5 levels are ‘severe’ at the monitoring station in South Delhi’s Mathura Road. The AQI levels are 418 and 408 for the corresponding particulate matter. PM10 level is in ‘poor’ category at T3 terminal of IGI Airport as well as at Pitampura (North Delhi), whereas PM2.5 is under the very poor category.
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Concentration of suspended particulates are in the ‘very poor’ category in the Delhi University area as well as Noida. Dipankar Saha, air lab chief at Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), says rise in air pollution levels in the capital Delhi is due to the presence of moisture as well as change in wind direction and movement. There has been a concomitant decrease in the speeds of local winds. Strong winds can flush out particulate matter whereas moisture entraps pollutants close to the surface.
“Cloud formation in northeast as well as southern India is hindering flow of wind from north and northwest. As a result winter is not settling,” said Saha. “On other hand, there is humidity from east and southeast. It is likely to lead to spike in air pollutants as well as bring visibility down,” added Saha.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) calculates suspended particulate matter as well as gases like nitrogen dioxide and Ozone.
Delhi has been facing major environmental issues. Air quality index dipped and remained low for the last 20 days. There is medical emergency in the NCR (national capital region). The Delhi Smog is like smoking 50 cigarettes. Particulate matter (PM) is breaking records; number of people battling respiratory diseases has risen by three times or roughly 300%. Bronchitis and asthma is rampant. The Supreme Court had to intervene and said the situation was life-threatening. Delhi now has the dubious distinction of being the most polluted city in the world. Deadly air pollution kills millions of people every year in India, says journal The Lancet. Supreme Court banned firecrackers in Delhi to combat dipping air quality index.