Strong winds prevented heavy accumulation of pollutants in Delhi’s air Saturday, even as Delhi Fire Services, under the directions of Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev, pressed 20 fire tenders across the city’s pollution hotspots to sprinkle water. DFS chief Atul Garg said the vehicles were deployed across 13 hotspots between 3.30 pm and 7 pm. Similar steps to contain pollution were taken also in 2018 and 2017.
“We received instructions from the Chief Secretary in the morning. Fire tenders are deployed for such purposes after proper planning as we have to keep an optimum balance for fire fighting. The sprinkling will continue even tomorrow,” Garg said.
On Saturday, the city recorded AQI of 312, which falls in the ‘very poor’ category — a marginal improvement from Friday’s 360. Central agency SAFAR forecast further improvement Sunday, and an increase in the speed of surface-level winds over the next two days, which will help disperse pollutants.
The AQI is expected to improve to ‘poor’, it said, adding that a western disturbance-induced rain, which is likely on November 26, will have a “positive impact”.
According to the Central Control Room for air quality management, the volume of PM 2.5 in the city’s air was 135.5 µg/m3 at 5 pm while PM 10 was 239.3 µg/m3 at 7 pm.
The share of stubble burning in PM2.5 was 7%, which is likely to come down by two percentage points Sunday. The 24-hour safe standards for PM 2.5 and PM10, stipulated by the CPCB, are 60 and 100 respectively.