As temperature and wind speed dropped, Delhi was engulfed in haze on Tuesday. The air quality, too, took a turn for the worse with air quality monitoring stations in the city — ITO, Punjabi Bagh, RK Puram, Anand Vihar and Mandir Marg — touching the ‘severe’ pollution mark.
Watch what else is in the news
High humidity at 95 per cent — which aids increased concentration of pollutants and helps in the formation of fog — was also seen on Tuesday. According to an IMD official, dense fog is expected to descend on the city sky late Tuesday night and is likely to remain put till Wednesday morning.
Tuesday’s minimum temperature was recorded at 9.4 degree Celsius, lower than the 11.5 degree Celsius recorded in Shimla. The maximum temperature in Delhi, meanwhile, was recorded at 24.8 degree Celsius.
The temperatures are expected to be in the same range on Wednesday as well. “Temperature has been dipping consistently for the past one week and there is nothing unusual about it. The wind speed, however, dropped considerably on Tuesday and pollution levels rose. Air quality and visibility are expected to deteriorate in the coming week. Dense fog is expected on Thursday and Saturday,” said an IMD official.
On Tuesday, 64 north-bound trains, including Rajdhani and Shatabdi, were delayed and 12 trains were cancelled.
“This year, the fog season is likely to last from the second week of December to the second week of February. On an average, there will be around 20-21 days of dense fog,” said R K Jenamani, director in-charge, IGI Airport Met station. Last year, Delhi saw 22 days of dense fog.
According to the SAFAR, the citywide average concentration of PM 2.5, which was the prominent pollutant in Delhi’s air on Tuesday, was 174 microgram per cubic metre. It is expected to be 189 microgram per cubic metre on Wednesday and 202 microgram per cubic metre on Thursday.
Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain, meanwhile, directed land owning agencies in the city to prosecute those who violate the National Green Tribunal’s norms to control pollution by burning leaves and garbage in the open. A violator can now be fined Rs 5,000 per offence.
Hussain, who held a meeting with agencies such as the Delhi Development Authority, the MCDs and the Revenue Department, said that most of the authorities had not taken action to prosecute violators.