Air quality in Delhi-NCR remained above emergency levels Thursday with monitoring stations in the capital recording particulate matter more than 5-7 times the acceptable limit.
Experts have attributed this to a combination of factors, including low temperature and cloudy skies reducing the atmospheric mixing layer height and trapping pollutants closer to the surface, and weak surface level wind speed being ineffective in their dispersal.
The Centre’s air quality monitoring agency SAFAR said under the present meteorological conditions, impact of stubble burning emissions on PM2.5 in Delhi Thursday increased to over 30%.
The 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of Delhi Thursday was 463, up from 456 Wednesday. AQI value above 400 is classified as ‘severe’.
“Marginal improvement is expected by Friday within ‘severe’ range. However, increase in wind speed is expected by November 16, which is likely to increase ventilation and improve the air quality towards ‘very poor,” SAFAR said.
HC raps govt and MCDs on pollution
The Delhi High Court Thursday pulled up the Delhi government, local agencies and the civic bodies, over the severe air pollution levels in the national capital and said there is “no lack of proper ideas”, but “lack of will to implement them”. Stressing on the need for more trees and green cover in the city, a bench of Justice G S Sistani and Justice A J Bhambhani also called for citizens to play a proactive role “in case they want to make Delhi pollution-free”.
“People have to realise a collective responsibility towards air pollution,” the bench said, adding that had authorities complied with its earlier directions, the situation would have been different.