Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Delhi air quality improves slightly after rainfall, but remains in ‘Poor’ category

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Following Friday’s rainfall, Delhi witnessed a modest improvement in air quality on Saturday, shifting from the ‘Very Poor’ to the ‘Poor’ category, as reported by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). However, despite the respite, concerns linger as pollution levels remain a significant challenge for residents.

At 7 am on Saturday, key areas reported the following Air Quality Index (AQI) readings: Anand Vihar at 295, RK Puram at 230, Punjabi Bagh at 244, and ITO at 263. While the rain brought some relief, a local resident observed, “After the rains, the pollution has slightly decreased, but the bad air quality condition persists. We are still facing some problems in breathing.”

Earlier on Friday, the overall air quality in Delhi, according to SAFAR data, was at 407 at 7 am and improved to 361 at 10 am, moving from the ‘Severe’ to the ‘Very Poor’ category. Notably, Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium and Shadipur recorded ‘severe’ AQI readings at 407 and 405, respectively.

Although there was a dip in PM 2.5 and PM10 pollutants post-4 am across Delhi and its neighboring regions, concerns about pollution persist. The Delhi government is actively implementing anti-pollution measures, including the consideration of ‘artificial rain’ to address the issue. Currently, Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) is in effect.

Amidst these efforts, the Supreme Court has expressed serious concern over hazardous air quality and directed an immediate halt to stubble burning by farmers in Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh, recognizing it as a major contributor to air pollution. As the weather forecast suggests a partly cloudy sky and shallow fog in the coming days, the city remains focused on combating air pollution post-Diwali.

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