NEW DELHI: The air quality has improved significantly in Delhi and surrounding areas in Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon due to light rain and favourable wind speed and was recorded in the ‘poor’ category after a 15-day spell of ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ air days.
The city’s 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) improved to 221 on Nov 16, which falls in the ‘poor’ category. It was 435 on Nov 15 and 414 on Nov 14 (Diwali). The last time Delhi’s AQI was recorded in the ‘poor’ category was on November 2. The AQI reached the ‘moderate’ category by 6 pm.
On the other hand, The average 24-hour AQI at 4 pm on Nov 16 was 186 in Faridabad, 207 in Ghaziabad, 226 in Greater Noida, 243 in Noida and 246 in Gurgaon, according to CPCB’s Sameer app. On Nov 15, it was 448 in Ghaziabad, 441 in Noida, 417 in Greater Noida, 425 in Gurgaon and 414?in Faridabad.
The central government’s Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi said AQI improved significantly after Diwali owing to rainfall and strong winds and is likely to remain in the ‘moderate’ category on Tuesday. The air quality is likely to deteriorate marginally and hit the ‘poor’ category on Wednesday.
In Delhi-NCR, the levels of PM2.5, which is about three per cent the diameter of a human hair and can lead to premature deaths from heart and lung diseases ? were 88 microgram per cubic meter (g/m3) at 6 pm. The safe limit is 60 g/m3.
PM10 level stood at 135 g/m3 at 6 pm. PM10 levels below 100 g/m3 is considered safe in India and 500 g/m3 is the emergency threshold.
The last time Delhi recorded such low PM10 levels was on September 28. The neighbouring cities of Faridabad (186), Ghaziabad (207), Greater Noida (226), Gurgaon (246) and Noida (243) recorded their AQI in ‘poor’ and ‘moderate’ categories after braving ‘severe’ air quality on Saturday and Sunday.
Delhi had recorded the worst pollution levels on Diwali in the last four years due to the combined effect of stubble burning, firecrackers and unfavourable meteorological conditions.
The air quality on the day after Diwali was also the poorest since 2016.
In a special report, the Central Pollution Control Board said almost all pollutants reported higher values on Diwali day this year as compared to 2019. It could be attributed to bursting of firecrackers, higher share of stubble burning and unfavourable meteorology during the festival season, the CPCB said.