Delhi’s air quality deteriorated once again to hit the ‘severe’ category Thursday morning with a 24-hour average AQI of 426 at 9 am. The worst air quality in the city was at Jahangirpuri and Anand Vihar where the monitoring stations recorded a 24-hour average AQI of 460, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The prominent pollutant at Jahangirpuri was PM2.5, while PM10 was found to be the most prominent pollutant at Anand Vihar.
Air Quality Index between 401 and 500 is considered to be ‘severe’. According to the CPCB, AQI in the ‘severe’ category “affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases”.
The city’s AQI has deteriorated from a 24-hour average of 376 at 4 pm on Wednesday.
Most other parts of the National Capital Region (NCR) recorded 24-hour average AQI in the ‘very poor’ category at 9 am on Thursday. Noida recorded an AQI of 388 and Gurgaon 391. Delhi’s air quality remained the worst among the parts of the NCR that are being monitored by the CPCB.
Data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) shows that calm conditions with a wind speed of 0 kmph prevailed at 8.30 am Thursday. Calm conditions prevent the dispersion of pollutants that then accumulate in the air.
A forecast issued by the Air Quality Early Warning System Wednesday had said the AQI is likely to remain in the ‘very poor’ category on Thursday, and the ‘very poor’ to ‘severe’ category on Friday. The wind direction is likely to be from the northwest or northeast of Delhi on Thursday, the forecast said.
The fire counts that indicate paddy residue burning saw a spike on Wednesday in Punjab with a single-day count of 3634 fire incidents. Haryana recorded 166 fire incidents, while Uttar Pradesh saw 25 and Rajasthan 63.