For the second day in a row, Delhi’s overall air quality index was in the ‘very poor’ category Wednesday, according to the Central Pollution Control Board bulletin.
The AQI stood at 314, with PM10 and PM2.5 being the main pollutants.
The figure was a few notches higher than the 303 recorded on Tuesday.
Parts of the National Capital Region including Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Bulandshahr and Noida also recorded ‘very poor’ AQI on Wednesday.
The air quality is set to deteriorate further from Thursday onwards, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
The AQI could reach the upper end of the ‘very poor’ category on Thursday, with a possible increase in the share of stubble burning to PM2.5 levels in Delhi.
The contribution of stubble burning could increase from around 8% on Wednesday to an estimated 20% on Thursday. And this is attributed to a change in wind direction to northwesterly.
Winds coming from the northwest of Delhi bring pollutants from stubble burning hotspots in Punjab and Haryana. On Friday and Saturday, the share could hit around 35% to 45%, the SAFAR forecast said on Wednesday.
Emissions from firecrackers could mean that the AQI could reach the ‘severe’ category between November 4 and 6.
Local conditions are also predicted to be very calm for the next three days, making the dispersion of pollutants difficult. However, the India Meteorological Department forecasts strong winds on November 7.
For the past week, Shadipur and Dwarka have consistently been featuring in the CPCB’s list of hotspots where AQI levels are high.
On October 27, the air quality indices at the monitoring stations at Shadipur and Anand Vihar were already in the ‘very poor’ category, before the city’s overall levels fell to ‘very poor.’ On October 28, the monitoring stations at NSIT Dwarka, Anand Vihar and Shadipur all recorded AQIs falling in the ‘very poor’ category.
Wazirpur and Jahangirpuri have also been featuring intermittently on the hotspot list.