Thanks to rains, Delhi air quality improves but still “unhealthy”

New Delhi (NVI): Thanks to the light showers and strong winds in some parts of the National Capital Region (NCR) on Thursday, the air quality improved a notch from “poor” to “unhealthy’’ category here today.

The air quality is expected for further improve during the sunlight hours, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said.

The city received 8 mm rainfall in past 24 hours and relative humidity was 94 per cent, a MeT department official said.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) air quality index, which measures the concentration of poisonous particulate matter, however reported in the “unhealthy” category, including a high of 288 in shahdra area here.

The SAFAR said that the change in wind direction from south and its interaction with upper air westerly trough is likely to produce fairly widespread rainfall throughout northwest India.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court sharply criticised both central and respective state governments for not doing enough to limit pollution and the burning of crop stubble in Punjab and Haryana, a factor contributing to Delhi’s plight.

The court asked if the governments did not feel ashamed that flights were being diverted, and that citizens weren’t safe in their homes.

Air quality has generally improved in the capital since Sunday, when it was caught in a disastrous air choke. Schools in New Delhi reopened on Wednesday after a two-day closure.

-sb