The pollution level in the national capital on Sunday continued to remain in the “very poor” category for the second consecutive day as the air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 365 in the morning. After a four-day spell of “severe” situation, the relief on Saturday came in the form of winds that abated the smog cover in the Delhi-NCR region, resulting in a decline in pollution levels.
The overall AQI of the city was recorded at 357 on Saturday.
Today, the AQI at Noida was registered at 352. However, the air quality in Gurugram continued to remain under the “severe” category at 455.
On Monday, the AQI is expected to be in the ‘poor’ category.
Officials at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the main reason behind the improvement in the capital was a change in wind direction and speed.
“Winds in the range of 10 km per hour were seen Saturday, which helped flush out pollutants. Also, the prevalent wind direction means the effects of crop residue burning are not being felt as strongly as before,” said a senior IMD official.
The relief, however, is short-lived and air quality is expected to dip again starting Wednesday. “Till Tuesday, wind direction is expected to be favourable but a switch to northwesterly winds is expected again. Pollution will start rising then,” an IMD official said.
SAFAR officials said the contribution of crop residue burning in Delhi’s pollution was 5% Saturday, down from 10% Friday. It is expected to drop to 2% Sunday.
For the past week, air pollution has been at the centre of the city’s politics, with Aam Aadmi Party leaders Friday attacking East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir for skipping a parliamentary panel meeting to discuss Delhi’s air crisis.