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Air quality in Delhi-NCR continues to decline as wind speed comes down

Calm winds and low ventilation index are predicted for the next two days and the condition is conducive for the sudden accumulation of pollutants in the Delhi region

BS Web team & Agencies 

Delhi metro, delhi air pollution
Delhi metro running amid dense haze and low visibility

in New Delhi and nearby areas deteriorated on Wednesday due to calm winds and dip in temperature leading to accumulation of pollutants.

The city's overall index (AQI) read 269 at 7:00 am on Wednesday, up from 242 at the previous day, said System of and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

The concentration of particlate matter (PM) 2.5 was at 111 while the PM10 level was recorded at 179.

The air quality is likely to deteriorate to the higher end of the "very poor" category by early Wednesday and to the lower end of the "severe" category by November 21, it warned, adding from November 23, a fresh western disturbance is expected to increase the wind speed and improve ventilation.

Greater Noida (272) and Noida (256) recorded their AQI in the "poor" category.

An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered "poor", 301-400 "very poor" and 401-500 "severe".

Kuldeep Srivastava, a senior scientist at the India Meteorological Department (IMD), said the maximum wind speed dropped from 18 kilometers per hour on Monday to 10 kmph on Tuesday.

The speed will reduce further to 6-8 kmph on Wednesday. The temperature is also expected to dip by a few notches starting Wednesday which will affect air quality.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality monitor SAFAR said as stubble transport-level winds are favourable, stubble burning is expected to account for 14 per cent of Delhi's pollution on Wednesday. It was 13 per cent on Tuesday.

Calm winds and low ventilation index are predicted for the next two days and the condition is conducive for the sudden accumulation of pollutants in the Delhi region, SAFAR said.

Meanwhile, a meeting of a parliamentary committee on the issue of air pollution in the capital is scheduled for Wednesday after the absence of most of its members and senior officials from its last meeting sparked outrage and raised questions over their seriousness in fighting the menace.

The panel's head and BJP MP Jagdambika Pal is learnt to have written to the Lok Sabha speaker, expressing his "displeasure" at the absence of senior government officials from the last meeting, as they were scheduled to brief parliamentarians on the pollution crisis, especially in the capital.

First Published: Wed, November 20 2019. 07:45 IST
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