New Delhi, June 14:  For the second day in a row, Delhi residents experienced a dusty morning on Thursday. Readings from most air quality monitoring stations across the NCR showed that the PM2.5 stayed well within ‘poor’ or ‘hazardous’ categories, said Zeenews.india.com. In many places, the levels went even beyond the maximum pollution level of ‘severe’.  The report mentions AQICN’s collated data according to which RK Puram and the area around Sonia Vihar water treatment plant were the worst with readings at 999 at around 2am on Thursday. Areas like DTU (892), Satyawati College (812), Rohini (787) and DITE Okhla (741) also had air quality in the ‘hazardous’ category but combined figures kept the overall category to ‘poor’.

The current conditions may remain so till Friday. The Environment Ministry said dust storms from Rajasthan were responsible for the poor air quality of Delhi and NCR. On Wednesday, construction agencies, municipal corporations and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) were instructed to ensure water sprinkling around the city, said the report. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) also convened an urgent meeting of the Task Force and issued directions to contain dust sources.

On Wednesday, the air quality in Delhi had deteriorated beyond the ‘severe’ level because of a ground-level dust storm in western India which increased coarser particles in the air, the Central Pollution Control Board data said. The data showed that the PM10 (particles with diameter less than 10mm) level was beyond ‘severe’ category at 778 in Delhi-NCR area and 824 in Delhi particularly, leading to hazy conditions and limiting visibility.

Gufran Beig, a scientist at the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research institute, said “There was a ground-level dust storm in the western part of the country that increased drastically coarser particles in the air, causing a spike in pollution levels in Delhi.” An AQI between 0-50 is considered ‘good’, 51-100 ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 ‘moderate’, 201-300 ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’, and 401-500 ‘severe’. (With PTI Inputs)