Delhi’s air quality remains in severe category; relief unlikely soon

New Delhi (NVI): The national capital’s air quality index (AQI) remained in the “severe” category for the fifth consecutive day with the AQI being recorded at 459 this morning.

According to India Meteorological Department’s environment research centre, a major improvement in Delhi-NCR’s air quality was highly unlikely in the coming days.

In order to keep the pollution in check, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) today imposed a total ban on the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) from November 9 midnight to November 30 midnight, saying “celebration by crackers is for happiness and not to celebrate deaths and diseases”.

The city’s air quality index (AQI) stood at 474 at 11 am, according to Central Pollution Control Board data. Its 24-hour average AQI was 416 on Sunday, 427 on Saturday, 406 on Friday and 450 on Thursday, the highest since November 15 last year, when it was 458.

The neighbouring cities of Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida, and Gurugram also recorded “severe” air quality.

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.

PM10 levels in Delhi-NCR stood at 591 microgram per cubic meter (µg/m3) at 10 am, the highest since November 15 last year, when it was 637 µg/m3, according to CPCB data. PM10 levels below 100 µg/m3 are considered safe in India.

Furthermore, on Monday, the minimum temperature recorded at 8.30am was 10 degrees Celsius.