Delhi's air quality improved to 'poor' today, even as a toxic haze continued to envelope parts of the national capital with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and other pollutants.
The city's average Air Quality Index (AQI) was 282 on a scale of 500, classified as 'poor', marking an improvement from yesterday's 378, which fell under the 'very poor' category.
The smog in Delhi had cast a shadow on the India-Sri Lanka Test match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium too, with captain Dinesh Chandimal and his team wearing N95 anti- pollution masks to combat pollution on day two.
The match ended in a draw today with Chandimal admitting that it was tough playing in pollution. Some of the Sri Lankan players had fallen sick.
The concentration of NO2 breached the 24-hour safe limit of 80 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) in areas like R K Puiram (91.03)
and Anand Vihar (86.53) while in Dilshad Garden region it hovered close to 80 unit mark in the evening.
The United Nations yesterday marked the day as the first international smog day. It is a moment to remember all of the people who have died prematurely, and avoidably, because of the air pollution, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) had said in a statement.
Pollution is considered severe plus or emergency when readings of PM2.5 and PM10 cross 300 and 500 ug/m3, respectively. The corresponding prescribed standards are 60 and 100.
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.
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