With calm conditions setting in, Delhi’s air quality is likely to remain in the ‘poor’ category over the week ahead.
The air quality index (AQI) deteriorated to 232, in the ‘poor’ category, on Sunday, after a brief spell of better air quality brought by rainfall. This was Delhi’s second ‘poor’ air quality day this month.
A forecast issued by the air quality early warning system on Sunday said the air quality will remain in the ‘poor’ category till October 19 and for the subsequent six days.
On Monday, the predominant surface winds are likely to be coming from the northwest of Delhi with a wind speed of 4 to 8 kmph, according to the forecast. An average wind speed of less than 10 kmph is considered to be unfavourable for the dispersion of pollutants.
The Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) had already kicked in from October 5 onwards, when Delhi recorded its first ‘poor’ air day of the season. Measures under stage-I of the plan are currently in force.
A communication issued by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) on Sunday said that the Commission has directed all implementing agencies of the Union and State governments of the NCR to strictly implement actions under stage-I of the GRAP.
Meanwhile, instances of paddy stubble burning to clear the fields after the kharif crop harvest have picked up in Punjab and Haryana. A total of 206 residue-burning events were recorded on October 16 in Punjab, according to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute’s monitoring system. On October 15, 169 such events were recorded. The impact of stubble burning on Delhi’s air quality continues to remain negligible, according to an update issued by the SAFAR forecasting system on Sunday.