In a major relief for the residents of Delhi-NCR, the air quality on Wednesday morning further improved. The air quality index in the national capital dropped from yesterday's 365 to 356 at 6:30 am. The Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality monitor, SAFAR, said, "The AQI is back to 'very poor' category after rapidly recovering from 'severe' largely due to faster boundary layer winds (40 kmph)."
Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad too recorded 'very poor' overall air quality.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor, and 401-500 severe. Above 500 is severe-plus emergency category.
The AQI of four places in and around Delhi has been provided in the table given below.
The India Meteorological Department said winds gusting up to 25 kmph were flushing out pollutants faster.
"There are good chances of rains in northwest India on Wednesday night and Thursday due to a western disturbance. The precipitation will cover Delhi-NCR, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh," head of IMD's regional weather forecasting centre of Kuldeep Srivastava, said.
Taking a grim view of the surge in pollution levels, the Supreme Court on Monday slammed authorities for failing to curb pollution in Delhi-NCR and said they have left people to die.
Passing a slew of other directions to prevent the rise in air pollution levels, it imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on anyone carrying out construction and demolition activity in Delhi-NCR, and a fine of Rs 5,000 on offenders involved in garbage or waste burning. The Bench said it had “no sympathy for farmers indulging in it (stubble burning) as they are putting lives of others at risk”.
The odd-even scheme, which kickstarted on Monday has entered Day 3 with only even-numbered non-transport vehicles allowed on Delhi roads. The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has claimed that due to the odd-even rule, 15 lakh vehicles have been taken off the road.