Delhi’s air quality deteriorates to ‘poor’, no significant change likely

Delhi’s air quality deteriorated marginally and was recorded in the “poor” category on Wednesday as a change in the wind direction increased the share of stubble burning in the city’s pollution slightly.

The city’s air quality index (AQI) was recorded in the “moderate” category in the morning. However, pollution levels increased by a bit as the day progressed. The 24-hour average AQI stood at 211. It was 171 on Tuesday.

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”. Weather experts and government agencies said no significant change was likely in the next three to four days.

V K Soni, the head of the India Meteorological Department’s environment research centre, said northwesterly winds increased the stubble burning contribution slightly on Wednesday.

According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR, stubble burning accounted for eight per cent of Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution on Wednesday. It was three per cent on Tuesday.

Around 800 fire points were observed in Punjab, Haryana and western Pakistan. However, their impact on Delhi-NCR’s air quality will not be significant, Soni said.

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