Delhi air quality near ‘severe’ again : The Tribune India

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Delhi air quality near ‘severe’ again

Authorities mull implementation of GRAP’s Stage III norms

Delhi air quality near ‘severe’ again

Vehicles crawl amid heavy smog in New Delhi on Thursday. PHOTO: MANAS RANJAN BHUI

Tribune News Service

Samad Hoque

New Delhi, November 30

After witnessing improvement in air quality, the national capital again saw a jump in its air quality index (AQI) on Thursday, recording an average AQI at 398.

The air quality index in the range of 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 severe.

Besides, the city saw a decline of 1°C in its maximum temperature, which was 25.1°C on Thursday. Meanwhile, the minimum temperature was 12.6°C °, recording an increase by 2°C from the season’s average.

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) said according to the air quality forecasts by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Indian Institute for Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Delhi’s average AQI was expected to start showing improvement from Thursday itself.

The sub-committee for operationalisation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) also met today and took stock of the current air quality scenario and the forecast of meteorological conditions.

After reviewing the overall air quality and relevant aspects, the sub-committee unanimously decided to review the situation for a day or more, before taking a decision on invoking stringent actions under Stage III of GRAP. In the meantime, the ongoing actions being implemented under Stage I and Stage II of GRAP will continue to be in force.

The CAQM observed that as the peak of paddy harvesting activity in Punjab and Haryana coincided with Diwali this year, it aggravated air pollution in the NCR.

The daily average AQI has been recorded at 372 as against 320 in 2022. The commission said similar meteorological and climatic conditions also prevailed in November 2021, wherein the daily average AQI was recorded as 377.

The CAQM said this year, the Capital has recorded its best daily average air quality in the last six years, barring the Covid-affected 2020, for the 11-month period between January and November.

The daily average AQI in Delhi in the current year was recorded at 190 against 199 in 2022, 196 in 2021, 172 in 2020, 203 in 2019 and 213 in 2018, during the corresponding period.

The city also witnessed a reduction in the daily average PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations over the last six years.

For the same period this year, the daily average PM2.5 was about 88 micrograms per cubic metre as against the range of 90-105 micrograms per cubic meter. The daily average PM10 concentration in Delhi has been about 192 micrograms per cubic meter against the range of 200-230 micrograms per cubic meter.

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