Air quality in the Capital remained in the ‘severe’ category for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday as farm fires continued to burn in neighbouring States, contributing to 29% of the total air pollution in the National Capital Region.
The average 24-hour Air Quality Index (AQI) on Sunday was 416 in Delhi, 434 in Gurugram, 456 in Ghaziabad, 440 in Greater Noida, 428 in Noida and 426 in Faridabad, according to data by the Central Pollution Control Board.
System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) said the situation was unlikely to improve unless there was a drastic reduction in stubble fire counts.
“Surface winds have become calm, which were moderate so far, and are forecast to stay low in magnitude for the next two days. This is the major factor due to which no quick recovery is expected,” said SAFAR.
The total stubble fire count in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and neighbouring areas stood at 3,780 on Saturday; it was 4,528 on November 6. SAFAR further stated that boundary layer wind direction is favourable for fire-related intrusion in Delhi-NCR. “Stubble burning share in PM2.5 in Delhi’s air is estimated at 29% for Sunday,” it added.
The AQI in Delhi is likely to be in the upper end of ‘very poor’ category on November 13 and 14 (Deepavali), and ‘severe’ on November 15 and 16.