Air quality still poor in Delhi, may improve by Tuesday | Delhi News


NEW DELHI: Delhi witnessed a layer of haze on Saturday morning with its air quality deteriorating further even as it remained in the “poor” category. The capital’s Air Quality Index (AQI), which was 239 on Friday, increased to 289 on Saturday.
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The AQI reached the higher-end of the poor category from the lower-end mainly due to weather conditions and transfer of pollutants released from stubble burning to Delhi, said experts.
System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) said the AQI was likely to stay in the higher end of the “poor” category to the lower end of the “very poor” category on Sunday. “Low surface winds may slowly improve from Sunday. Air quality is likely to improve to the poor category by Monday and further improvement is expected by Tuesday. Transport wind direction is favourable for transfer of pollutants and an increase in stubble contribution to PM2.5 estimated is around 19% for Saturday,” said SAFAR.
Kuldeep Srivastava, scientist at India Meteorological Department and head, Regional Weather Forecasting Centre, said, “Though the wind speed had picked up on Thursday and Friday during day times with an average speed of 8-10 kmph, the pollutants were able to disperse. The rise in wind speed helped in improving Delhi’s air quality on Friday.”
Srivastava added, “The wind speed dropped to nil from 8 pm on Friday to 8 am on Saturday. It resulted in accumulation of pollutants and affected the city’s air quality.” Delhi has been recording “poor” air quality days since October 7. It touched the extreme end of the “poor” range on October 13 with 300 AQI. However, the capital with 312 AQI entered “very poor” category on October 15 after eight months but it again slipped back to the “poor” range on Friday.
While an AQI reading of 50 or below is classified as “good,” readings between 51 and 100 fall in the “satisfactory” category and those between 101 and 200 are classified as “moderate”. “Poor” air ranges from 201 to 300, “very poor” from 301 to 400 and “severe” from 401 to 500.

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