NCR air quality severe, will improve from Wednesday

As the national capital and the region around it continued to suffer from "severe" level air quality since the past two days, weather agencies predicted improvement from Wednesday onwards.

According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) the improvement would not be much, as the air quality would remain toxic under "very poor" category.

"The pollution level in the capital which was mostly in 'very poor' category for the past two weeks is now at 'severe' category only until January 2, 2018. It will slip back to 'very poor' from January 3 onwards," SAFAR forecast said. 

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted rise in effluent mixing height as well as slight increase in the wind speed, all necessary to disperse the effluents in air.

According to SAFAR, the Air Quality Index (AQI) during the period December 25, 2017 to January 3, 2018 remained roughly 50 notch points higher as compared to past two years, making it worse in three years.

It added that the deterioration of air quality prior to beginning of 2018 can mainly be attributed to typical "winter variability". 

"Majority of the dense foggy days were concentrated during these 10 days (December 28, 2017 to January 3, 2018) whereas in previous year's foggy days were more scattered," SAFAR said.

On Tuesday, AQI of Delhi was 408, ranked "severe" against 400 on Monday on a scale of 0 to 500.

Though abated in past 24 hours, PM2.5 or particles in air with diameter less than 2.5 micrometers continued being the dominating pollutant, ranging "severe" to "severe-plus or emergency" levels at 16 out of 23 monitored region. 

On Tuesday, the PM2.5 levels at 6 p.m. were over 13 to 14 times higher as per the international standards, Vasundhara in Ghaziabad (PM2.5 374 microgrammes per cubic meters) and Anand Vihar (PM2.5 344 units) in east Delhi were the most polluted regions across NCR. However, on Monday the PM2.5 levels were 21 times high.

Source: IANS

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