After Diwali led to a spike in pollutant levels till Saturday, Delhi is likely to get some relief from dense haze for the next three days, scientists said.
On Saturday, the particulate matter (PM) 10 levels were recorded at 360 micrograms per cubic mere. Dr Gufran Beig, project director of Ministry of Earth Sciences’ SAFAR, said. “After Diwali, minimum temperatures started to rise a bit and settled at about 15 degrees. The level of particulate matter, however, decreased rapidly to around 129 micrograms per cubic metre. But this relief was short-lived. Since November 17, sudden calm winds and steep fall in temperature increased the levels of PM 2.5 to 220 micrograms per cubic metre and is likely to continue for the next three days.”
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He added that with no likelihood of westerly disturbances and increased moisture this year, the weekend is likely to see a decline in smog levels. “The conditions are unfavourable for the formation of dense haze at least for the next three days,” he explained.
This Diwali, the share of PM 2.5 particles was found to be much higher than other particulate matter, compared to previous years, scientists said.
“PM 2.5 particles are the most hazardous. Even during Diwali this year, the contribution of PM 2.5 to particulate matter was more than that in previous years.”
Palam, with 325 microrgrams per cubic metre on November 11, was the most polluted during Diwali this year. Scientists said there was also a marginal increase in the level of black carbon by about 30 per cent on Diwali.