Air quality during this Diwali is expected to be on the brink of `poor to very poor’ in Pune. However, there will be some relief, according to an updated forecast by SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) released on Saturday, as temperatures are relatively warm and the wind speed not so calm. This means that the pollutants in the air will disperse faster.
SAFAR scientists on Friday said the air quality is predicted to deteriorate to the lower end of very poor by November 15, the day after Diwali. At lower temperatures, the pollutants continue to hang in the air.
“The temperature has not cooled as expected and winds are not so calm, which may bring relief for Pune. The Air Quality Index is going to be towards the edge of poor to very poor, better than what was expected,” scientists at SAFAR told The Indian Express on Saturday.
The Air Quality Forecast for the Diwali period for Pune is issued based on the high-resolution atmospheric chemistry transport model known as SAFAR-Air Quality Forecasting Model.
The concentration of fine particles –Particulate Matter 2.5 — on November 15, the day after Diwali, is expected to be 122 ug/m3 while on November 16, it will come down to 91 ug/m3 and on November 17, it is expected to drop further to 79 ug/m3. On November 18, the levels of PM 2.5 are expected to be around 76 ug/m3. The 24-hour permissible level is 60 micrograms per cubic meter.
These fine particles can get deep into lungs and exposure can have short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation. If the air quality is in the poor range, there is increasing likelihood of respiratory symptoms in sensitive individuals. The children and elderly are at risk and everyone may begin to experience some level of discomfort. People with heart or lung diseases, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion and outdoor duty, experts have said.
Hot spot areas
Early morning hours of Nov 15 (1 am to 6 pm), but it will be back to moderate level from the next day.
Most polluted areas in Pune on Nov 15
Kothrud, Model Colony, Bhumkar Chowk and Shivajinagar.
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