Delhi’s air quality worsens, in ‘poor’ category ahead of Diwali celebrations

According to the System for Weather and Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), a forecasting agency under the Union of Earth Science Ministries, pollution levels in Delhi remain at very poor levels due to the Air Quality Index. The city’s AQI is at 276 while the University of Delhi area is classified as ‘very poor’ at 319. The AQI in Noida is also in the ‘very poor’ category at 309.

Also on Sunday morning, air quality continued to remain poor in the National Capital Region (NCR) with PM 2.5 and PM 10 in Delhi recorded as ‘poor’ and 110. 237 is ‘moderate. While adjacent Noida has a ‘very poor’ AQI at 311 as well, and an AQI at Gurugram stands at ‘average’ of 139.

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.

SAFAR has recommended that sensitive groups including the elderly and children reduce prolonged or heavy exertion, get more rest, and engage in less intense activities.

The forecast agency in an advisory said, “Asthma patients, have your medication ready if you have symptoms of a cough or shortness of breath. Heart patients, see your doctor if palpitations, shortness of breath or unusual fatigue occur. often”.

In an effort to keep the air quality in the city under control, the Delhi government has forbidden production, storage, trade and crackers boom this year as well as fines and prison sentences in the case of violations.

Meanwhile, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai defended the government’s decision on Sunday saying that the priority of the Delhi government is to save lives and they are not interested in politics over the firecracker issue.

SAFAR has forecast that air quality could drop to “very poor” even without firecrackers, and in the event of fireworks like last year, air quality could turn “severe” by the end of the year. Diwali night and continued to remain in the “red” zone for another day.

The nation’s capital breathes its cleanest air in seven years with a recorded AQI of 259. For reference, last year’s AQI levels a day before Diwali were 314 and 296 in 2020. Air quality in the days of subduing the festival of lights got worse during the aforementioned time period.

With input from dealers

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