With the Delhi government taking steps to curb the capital’s soaring pollution levels in the light of serious concerns being raised on the same, experts said the levels are not as bad when compared to last year.
According to Dr Gufran Beig, the ‘milky-white’ nature of fog that has shrouded the capital since the onset of winter shows that pollution levels have not yet reached last year’s levels. Dr Beig is the chief project scientist of System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
The city’s air quality has largely oscillated between ‘very poor’ and ‘poor’, with areas where it is ‘severe’, said Beig.
“Levels of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 touched 130 micrograms per cubic metre on November 17. Thereafter, it began to increase and reached 220. For the last week or so, it has been hovering between 160-190,” said Beig.
According to Beig, “brownish or off-white” smog has not developed over the city till now due to atmospheric conditions. He added that the quality of air this year is relatively better compared to last year.
“There are two differences when compared to last year. This time, the wind movement is not that calm and the weather is not too cold. This prevented the accumulation of pollutants. So what we have now is a milky-white fog,” he said.
Last week, the Delhi High Court had compared the capital to a “gas chamber” while Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said air quality in Delhi has been going from bad to worse and termed the situation “serious”.
(with PTI inputs)