Delhi's air quality was 'moderate' Wednesday morning but it still ranked among the world’s most polluted cities as the gain from a couple of days of rains appear waning.
The city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) was 193 at 8 am, according to the Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality forecast agency SAFAR. Readings below 50 are considered safe, 51 and 100 is 'satisfactory' and anything above 300 is considered hazardous or 'severe'.
SAFAR, on Sunday, predicted that low wind speed would affect Delhi's air quality. “AQI is likely to be ‘Satisfactory’ tomorrow (Monday) and then degrade to ‘Moderate’ on January 11 and January 12 due to low wind speeds,” SAFAR said.
Delhi on Saturday recorded its highest rainfall in a day for January in 22 years, yielding the city's best air quality in over two months. The last time Delhi's air was in this category was on October 25 last year.
Delhi was this morning the world's ninth most polluted city in the world with an AQI of 162, according to IQAir.
Preliminary data from a month-long experiment has shown that indoor air pollution levels were nearly half of the outdoor levels in Delhi-NCR during November-December so far.
India is failing in efforts to improve its toxic air quality, with the number of smog-plagued cities increasing since the launch of a national program to tackle the issue, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
A total of 132 cities now have pollution levels deemed below national standards, from 102 cities when the National Clean Air Programme began in 2019, according to a report by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.