HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Delhi’s air quality witnessed a marginal improvement as it touched the lower end of the ‘very poor’ category
  • Delhi government has declared the shutdown of physical classes in schools, colleges and other educational institutions
  • Noida registered AQI in the upper end of the very poor category at 387

On Monday, Delhi’s air quality witnessed a marginal improvement as it touched the lower end of the ‘very poor’ category with Air Quality Index (AQI) at 318, as per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

The improvement develops on a day, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government is expected to hand in a lockdown proposal to the Supreme Court to minimize the rising air pollution further. On Saturday, the top court noted that the rise in pollution levels in Delhi was an “emergency situation” and suggested clamping a lockdown in Delhi.

Earlier, the Delhi government has declared the shut down of physical classes in schools, colleges and other educational institutions, excluding those where exams are being conducted for a week from Monday.

All government services, agencies and autonomous bodies, excluding those associated with essential services, have been ordered to ask employees to work from home. No construction or demolition activities will be allowed in the national capital till November 17, according to the AAP government.

The bulletin by SAFAR, the Union ministry of earth sciences air quality forecasting agency, voiced that the AQI is expected to improve by Tuesday, citing, “Winds at transport level are slowing down resulting in lesser intrusion of farm fires related pollutants into Delhi.

Nevertheless, calm local winds minimize the dispersion of pollutants, the net effect of which is expected to make air quality remain a very poor category, the agency noted. The effective farm fire count for Sunday was 3445, constituting 12 percent of Delhi’s PM2.5.

The SAFAR bulletin reads, “Implementation of lockdown for the two days with restriction in anthropogenic activity emitting pollutants, air quality may improve a little but likely to remain in the very poor category if stubble burning share does not increase.”

SAFAR commented that AQI is likely to deteriorate from November 16 night onwards owing to calm wind conditions, as forecasted. It added, “On November 17, it is likely to be in the Upper end of the very poor category.” The pollution level in the National Capital Region (NCR), especially Noida and Gurugram, has exhibited little improvement.

Noida registered AQI in the upper end of the very poor category at 387 and Gurugram’s air quality experienced a significant improvement and has now touched the lower end of the ‘very poor’ category at 317.

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