The National Capital woke up to a hazy and dusty Wednesday morning as the air quality plummeted to the severe category, with major monitoring stations reporting PM 10 and PM 2.5 as the primary pollutants.
At 10 am on Wednesday, Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) central control room recorded PM 2.5 levels to be around 157 micrograms per cubic metre, while the PM 10 levels were recorded at 797 micrograms per cubic metre. In ITO, PM 2.5 was recorded at 420, while PM 10 was recorded at 808. Punjabi Bagh, Wazirpur, Anand Vihar also recorded AQI between 800 to 900. Many other pollution monitoring stations reported readings between 300 to 700. While PM 10 does not cause severe health issues, PM 2.5 has been linked with fatal health hazards. The safe limit for PM10 is 100ug/m3, and readings above 430ug/m3 are considered severe.
The air quality which had been in moderate category for the last week, fell to ‘poor’ category on Tuesday evening. According to Met Department, hazy conditions in the city are likely to continue for the next 48 hours. The AQI shot up not only in Delhi but also in Gurugram, Noida and Ghaziabad. While in Ghaziabad the AQI was recorded at 863, the PM 2.5 concentration in Vikas Sadan in Gurgaon was recorded at 400. Sector 125 in Noida reflected a reading of 880, while the PM 10 levels in Faridabad were above 350 in Faridabad.
The increase in pollution levels in the city has been attributed to the prevailing weather conditions. Delhi continues to experience sweltering heat with the minimum temperature rising to 34 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, six notches above the season’s average. According to the Met department, humidity was recorded at 50 per cent.
Earlier this year, the World Health Organisation named Delhi as the world’s most polluted city. Of the top-20 cities mentioned in the list, 14 were in India and included Faridabad and Gurgaon.