Delhi breathing better, not good, as air quality improves

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Published: December 22, 2017 8:05:46 PM

Air quality in Delhi improved today with PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels dropping in parts of the national capital, a day after the pollution had soared to the 'emergency' level.

Air quality, Delhi, pollution, National capital, Delhi pollution, Delhi breathing betterAir quality in Delhi improved today with PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels dropping in parts of the national capital, a day after the pollution had soared to the ’emergency’ level. (Image: PTI)

Air quality in Delhi improved today with PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels dropping in parts of the national capital, a day after the pollution had soared to the ’emergency’ level. The city’s average Air Quality Index (AQI) was 336 on a scale of 500, classified as ‘very poor’, marking a significant improvement from yesterday’s ‘severe +’ category. According to the Central Control Room for Air Quality Management of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the NO2 levels measured at stations at R K Puram, Anand Vihar, Dilshad Garden and Dwarka were 38.67 ug/m3, 67.83 ug/m3, 35.85 ug/m3 and 24.3 ug/m3 respectively in the evening.

A CPCB-led taskforce yesterday recommended the closure of all coal-based industries operating in Delhi-NCR for a fortnight from January 15 to contain air pollution during the upcoming ASEAN summit here. The taskforce, formed under the Centre-notified Graded Response Action Plan, made the recommendation to the Environment Pollution – Prevention and Control – Authority EPCA) as part of a series of proposals in light of pollution touching the ’emergency’ level again. The ASEAN summit is scheduled to take place between January 19 and 30 in the national capital.

At 2pm yesterday, the concentration of PM2.5 was 320.9 microgram per cubic metre (ug/m3), while PM10 was 496 ug/m3, four units short of the emergency limit of 500 ug/m3. At 6pm, the corresponding readings were 314 and 487 ug/m3. The latest spell of pollution started on the night of December 19. Since then, the pollution graph has steadily risen, mainly due to a drastic fall in wind speed which is preventing dispersion of pollutants.

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