The capital will get a slight relief from high pollution levels over the next two days, with stronger winds and higher temperatures expected.
On Friday too, there was a slight improvement in air quality, as wind speed picked up, resulting in dispersion of pollutants and improvement of air quality within the ‘very poor’ category.
The contribution of stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to pollution in Delhi’s air also reduced from around 36% on Thursday to an estimated 19% on Friday, as per the Centre’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
A SAFAR bulletin also noted a reduction in fire counts in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh – from close to 3,000 on Thursday to nearly 1,200 – on Friday. “A significant improvement is forecast for November 1 to the lower-end of ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’ category,” the SAFAR bulletin said.
Delhi’s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) on Friday was 374, down from Thursday’s 395, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Wind speed over Delhi on Thursday was below 2-3 kmph, but picked up on Friday to around 12-14 kmph, said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the India Meteorological Department’s regional weather forecasting centre. “Wind speed is forecast to be even higher on Saturday and Sunday. The wind direction is from the northwest, which is favourable for transporting pollutants from stubble burning, but as the wind speed is expected to be high until November 1, pollutants will keep getting dispersed,” he said.
Temperature in the city is going to be in the 14-30 degree Celsius range, creating the conditions for a dip in air quality as colder temperatures aid pollution accumulation. The city had seen the minimum temperature fall to 12.5 degrees Celsius, the lowest in October in 26 years.
Meanwhile, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai tweeted on Friday that district magistrates and the Delhi Police have been directed to ensure that only green firecrackers are sold and used in the city.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines