Delhi Pollution: Air quality worsens in the national capital post-Diwali

New Delhi: People in Delhi woke up to a further spike in air pollution as the city continued to remain engulfed in a blanket of smog post-Diwali with the air quality index in ‘severe’ and ‘very poor quality’ at several places on Sunday morning.

The areas around ITO were seen covered in heavy smog and the Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 461 here, according to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) data. Very poor visibility was observed in areas around Civil Lines, Geeta Colony and ISBT today due to the pollution surge.

The air quality dipped to “severe” at several places across the national capital on Saturday night itself owing to a combination of stubble burning and firecrackers burst during the Diwali celebrations in violation of a ban on the same.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) for PM 2.5 pollutant stood at 481 in Anand Vihar, 444 in IGI Airport area, 457 in ITO, and 414 in Lodhi Road area, all four in the ‘severe’ category, at 11 pm on Saturday, according to the DPCC data.

This came as many burst firecrackers in violation of the complete ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers in the national capital by the Delhi government and the National Green Tribunal.

The AQI is forecasted to deteriorate further and reach the ‘Severe’ category by Sunday evening.

“The overall air quality of Delhi has deteriorated and in the higher end of the ‘Very Poor’ category as of today morning as forecasted. AQI is forecasted to deteriorate further and reach the Severe category by evening today. The stubble burning induced impact in AQI is expected to increase from moderate to high for today. Although the level of PM 2.5 is predicted to be at the edge of ‘very poor’ to ‘Severe’ by tonight, it is expected to be much better as compared to the past 4 years around the Diwali period with an assumed scenario of NIL firecracker emission,” as per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

An AQI between 0-50 is marked good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101- 200 is moderate, 201- 300 is poor, 301-400 is very poor and 401-500 is considered severe. According to experts, the severe category affects the health of people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases.

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