Delhi’s air quality is expected to remain in the ‘very poor’ category until Friday, as unfavourable meteorological conditions are hindering dispersion of pollutants and the contribution of stubble burning emissions to air pollution has increased, as per forecast from government agencies.
To help combat air pollution, Environment Minister Gopal Rai Tuesday said CM Arvind Kejriwal will launch a ‘Green Delhi’ mobile app Thursday. Through the app, people will be able to lodge complaints against waste burning, industrial pollution, dust emissions and other polluting activities. “There will be a time limit to address complaints received via the app, and failure to do so will result in action against nodal officer of the department concerned,” Rai said.
The share of stubble burning emissions from Punjab, Haryana and UP in Delhi’s PM2.5 levels — fine particles suspended in the air — increased to an estimated 23% Tuesday. This is the highest for the season so far, with close to 2,000 fire counts being recorded, as per the Centre’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
Delhi’s average air quality index (AQI) was ‘very poor’ for the fifth day in a row Tuesday with a reading of 312, lower than 353 recorded Monday, as per data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
“A significantly large increase in the number of fire points were observed over Punjab, Haryana and UP, which is likely to impact air quality of Delhi-NCR and other parts of northwest India,” a forecast from the Earth Sciences Ministry’s Early Warning System (EWS) for Delhi said.
It said ‘very poor’ air quality is likely to persist till October 30. It could deteriorate within the ‘very poor’ category on Wednesday, as the ventilation index is likely to be 4,000 sqm/sec, unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants. Ventilation index is a product of mixing depth — height available in atmosphere for pollutants to disperse — and wind speed.
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