Air quality remains in ‘very poor’ category in Delhi

The air quality of Delhi and Noida remained in the ‘very poor’ category on Saturday and Gurugram’s improved to ‘poor’ category, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Air pollution of ‘very poor’ category can cause “respiratory illness on prolonged exposure”, according to the government.

The air quality of the national capital is expected to slightly deteriorate on Sunday. “The surface winds are likely to slow down for a short period tomorrow [Sunday] and marginal deterioration in Air Quality Index (AQI) is forecast, but within the middle-end of ‘very poor’ category. The AQI is forecast to improve on Monday and Tuesday, but within the ‘very poor’ category,” read a statement issued by the government-run monitoring agency SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research).

The Air Quality Index of Delhi was 337 on Saturday, as per the CPCB’s 4 p.m. bulletin, which is an average of the past 24 hours.

The values for Gurugram and Noida were 269 and 344, respectively.

Apart from pollutants, two meteorological factors strongly impact air quality.

Surface-level winds, which was ‘moderate’ on Friday, picked up pace and was ‘high’ on Saturday.

Also, the effect of stubble burning on the city’s air quality remained low on Saturday. However, “mixing layer height”, which is the height from the ground level up to which pollutants can be dispersed, remained “low”. This leads to accumulation of pollutants near the surface, which increases air pollution.

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