New Delhi: As the winter air settles lower and lower every day, Delhi’s air quality left residents gasping on Sunday as it moved to ‘severe’ category with the Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded above 400 at several locations.Also Read - Several Flights To and From Delhi Airport Delayed as Dense Fog, Low Visibility Affects Aerial Movement
Areas like Mundka, Anand Vihar, Jahangirpuri, Vivek Vihar and Bawana were among a few with “severe” levels of air pollution, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) authorities said. The AQI at Anand Vihar was recorded at 411. Also Read - Rain Likely in Delhi Today, Air Quality Deteriorates to Severe Category
Anti-smog guns were deployed at multiple locations across the national capital, as part of measures to control pollution. Also Read - Air Quality in Delhi Slips to 'Severe', Noida AQI in 'Critical' Category
However, the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), said that this pollution level will be short-lived as winds are expected to increase slightly by next week.
“This is mainly because the extremely calm local surface winds, which were prevailing yesterday, are likely to increase slightly and may further pick-up by October 26,” the SAFAR said, adding that the national capital will get slightly cleaner air on Monday.
“Slow improvement in the current condition is expected by October 26, leading to a middle range of ‘very poor’,” it said.
The SAFAR said the stubble-fire count stood at 1,292 on Friday and its share in Delhi’s pollution was nine per cent.
Notably, the Delhi government has already kick-started its “Red Light On, Gaadi Off” anti-pollution campaign, for which it has deployed 2,500 environment marshals at 100 traffic signals across the city to generate awareness and curb vehicular pollution. The Kejriwal-led government said that the odd-even road campaign will be the last resort this year.
Delhi witnesses horrifying air pollution levels every winter with the onset of the stubble burning season across the northern belt of India and into the festive season.
It must be noted that an AQI between 0 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”.
With inputs from agencies