Delhi air pollution: Delhi air quality is radically turning bad to worse. With temperatures dipping and onset of stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the concentration of particulate matter has slowly been increasing, according to Indian Express report. The air quality of the national capital today turned ‘poor’ and the situation would further deteriorate in the next few days, according to central government agency SAFAR, which monitors air pollution, PTI had reported on October 4. The day-long average of PM 2.5 and PM 10, which are ultrafine particulates, were 178 and 94 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3), while the air quality index of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was poor.
In a warning, the NASA fire mapper has also shown increased number of fires in Haryana and Punjab over the past week. According to researchers at IIT-Kanpur, the wind patterns ensure that stubble burning as far as Pakistan affect air quality in Delhi.
A “poor” AQI essentially means that people will have breathing discomfort on prolonged exposure to such air. On further dip in air quality, AQI will turn “very poor” and “severe”. An official of the CPCB attributed the rise in pollution levels to ground-level activities such as burning of paddy stubble in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana and meteorological conditions including a cyclonic circulation and a fall in wind speed that traps pollutants.
It has been learnt that Indian and British experts were joining hands on a project to help tackle health problems associated with air pollution in Delhi, which affect some 46 million people in and around the country’s capital city. With air pollution levels at times up to 30 times greater than those found in the UK, Delhi was rated the most polluted city in the world for ambient air pollution by World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2014, PTI had reported on January 23.