The air quality in Delhi is set to deteriorate further to be in the ‘very poor’ category over the weekend, according to the Air Quality Early Warning System.
On Friday, the air quality index (AQI) was 262, in the ‘poor’ category, going by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) bulletin. Among places in the NCR where the CPCB is monitoring air quality, Faridabad recorded ‘very poor’ air quality on Friday.
CPCB data shows that some air quality monitoring stations in the city recorded an average 24-hour AQI in the ‘very poor’ category on Saturday morning. AQI between 301 and 400 is considered to be ‘very poor’. At Jahangirpuri, for instance, the 24-hour average AQI was 315 at 9 am. It was at even higher figures of 321 at Mundka, 324 at Wazirabad and 348 at Dwarka. The prominent pollutant at these monitoring stations was PM10.
Anand Vihar was the only station in the city to record ‘severe’ air quality with a 24-hour average AQI of 406 at 9 am. AQI between 401 and 500 is categorised as ‘severe’.
Surface winds on Saturday are likely to be calm in the morning hours, coming from the northeast of Delhi with a wind speed of around 5 to 10 kmph during the day, according to the Air Quality Early Warning System. Calm conditions make the dispersion of pollutants difficult.
On Friday, an update from the SAFAR forecasting system pointed to low local wind speed as the most influencing factor forecasted to result in a deterioration of AQI. With low wind speed, there is a tendency for pollutants to accumulate, it read.
The contribution of stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana to Delhi’s AQI remained negligible on Friday. The contribution of these emissions to Delhi’s air has remained below 5% so far this season, according to data from SAFAR.