- Air Quality in Delhi deteriorates
- The stubble burning in neighbouring states Haryana and Punjab is picking up pace
- On Sunday, over 1200 farms fires were reported which is the highest in a single day this season so far
The people residing in the Delhi – NCR (National Capital Region) woke up to a thick layer of haze lingering over their head, today, as air quality dipped further causing several breathing ailments to people residing in the national capital.
Areas around ITO, Gazipur and Akshardham Temple saw heavy smog with PM 2.5 at 241 (poor) in ITO, at 151 (moderate) around Lodhi Road and 249 (poor) in R K Puram as per the data shared by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
A morning walker was quoted by a leading news agency as, “We are noticing the change in the air, as it’s getting harder to breathe while cycling and running. We might have to stop morning walks in the coming days,”.
The stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab have been said as the reason behind the rise in air pollution level in the city by the Delhiites.
A local cyclist was quoted saying, “The only solution to rising pollution is a mask. It’s a disastrous time for Delhi and the government should find a solution to stubble burning in nearby states. This is a major cause of air pollution here,”.
People who are old have been on the receiving end of the rising air pollution in an already diseased state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Sunday, a central government agency reported that 1,230 farm fires in Delhi’s neighbouring states were witnessed which is the maximum in a single day so far this season.
The share of stubble burning in Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution stood at 17% on Sunday. It was 19% on Saturday, 18% on Friday, around 1% on Wednesday and around 3% on Tuesday, Monday and Sunday.
As per the standards set by the central agency, an AQI between 0 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”.
During the daytime, winds were blowing from the northwest which aided the pollutants from farm fires into the city. At night, near stagnant winds speed and low temperatures are allowing the accumulation of pollutants, according to an India Meteorological Department official.
“The Ministry of Earth Sciences’ Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi said the ventilation index, a product of mixing depth and average wind speed, was 11,500 metre square per second on Sunday and is likely to be 10,000 metre square per second on Monday which is favourable for the dispersion of pollutants,” said a report.
“Mixing depth is the vertical height at which pollutants are suspended in the air. It reduces on cold days with calm wind speed,” the report added.
It is said that a ventilation index which is lower than 6,000 sqm/second, with an average wind speed of less than 10km/h is unfavourable for the dispersal of pollutants from the area.
Going by the Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi, the impact of stubble burning is “restricted because of better mixing height and ventilation”, but it is likely to rise on Monday.
As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the meteorological conditions in the national capital have been “extremely unfavourable” for the dispersion of the air pollutants since September as compared to last year.