New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The air quality in Delhi deteriorated further on Saturday morning and plunged to the severe category leaving Delhiites gasping for fresh air. According to the data by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the air quality index in the national capital was recorded at 499 today morning thereby being in the 'severe category.'

In Delhi's Lodhi Road area AQI was reported at 476, at IIT Delhi area AQI was at 479 and in the Delhi university's north campus area AQI was at 578 today. According to the government agencies, AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 are marked as severe/hazardous.

SAFAR, in its daily bulletin, informed, "The AQI today is in a severe category and is likely to be the same tomorrow due to increase in stubble related fire counts and increase in transport level (925 mb) wind speed during the night. The effective fire count increased to 4056 today. Today's share of crop residue burning is about 35 per cent in PM2.5."

"A drop in the minimum temperature is likely for the next two days resulting in air quality to be in severe to the upper end of the very poor category. However, an increase in local surface wind speed helps disperse pollutants," the bulletin read.

In the adjoining cities of Noida and Gurugram, the air quality also dropped to severe category. In Gurugram, a thick layer of smoke and haze engulfed the sky while the air quality was recorded in the very poor category, whereas in Noida, the overall air quality plummeted to severe category with the AQI reaching 799, as per SAFAR data. In Faridabad, the overall AQI was recorded at 460, Ghaziabad 486, Greater Noida 478.

A layer of eye-stinging smog lingering over Delhi-NCR thickened on Friday, giving an orange tint to the sun and lowering visibility to 200 metres at several places in the region. Similar conditions were witnessed in Delhi-NCR on Saturday morning with thick layer of smoke and haze lingering over the skies reducing the visibility.

In wake of the deteriorating air quality across Delhi-NCR, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) advised people to limit outdoor activities and told government and private offices to cut vehicle use by at least 30 per cent as air quality in Delhi-NCR inched towards the emergency level amid a rise in emissions from farm fires and unfavourable meteorological conditions.

A sub-committee on Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) said meteorological conditions will be highly unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants till November 18 and agencies concerned must be fully ready to implement measures under the 'emergency' category.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said the 24-hour average concentration of lung-damaging fine particles known as PM2.5 in Delhi-NCR crossed the 300 mark around midnight and stood at 381 micrograms per cubic metre at 4 pm on Friday, over six times the safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre. The PM10 level was recorded at 577 micrograms per cubic metre, over five times the safe limit of 100 micrograms per cubic metre.


(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan