Delhi's air quality is "severe" once again, but improvement predicted
For the first time since November's hazardous smog, air quality in Delhi reached the "severe plus or emergency" category yesterday. Early morning fog and a subsequent grey haze cleared only later in the day. The sudden jump in pollutants (AQI 359 on Wednesday to 469 on Thursday) was attributed to slow winds and increased humidity. Air quality is expected to start improving from today.
Ghaziabad and Noida most polluted locations in NCR
Five days ago, air quality was "moderate" at 197. By Thursday, PM2.5 was at 320 microgram/cubic meter, and PM10 at 497 microgram/cubic meter. If they remain over 300 and 500 respectively for 48 hours, "emergency" measures under the Graded Response Action Plan kick in. The most polluted were Ghaziabad and Noida (both above 500). Gurgaon (346) and Faridabad (358) remained in "very poor".
Delhi government tests anti-smog guns
As AQI fell, the Delhi Government tested 'anti-smog guns', a "first-of-its-kind" field experiment, at Anand Vihar. However, real-time data during the experiment showed pollution levels didn't fall much, but instead rose towards the later part. Critics say they won't work in Delhi as they are best-suited for small areas like stadiums, coal mines and power plants. DPCC will determine their viability.
'Emergency' measures under the GRAP
Emergency measures under the plan include a ban on construction activities and Delhi Government applying the odd-even car formula within 48 hours of pollution levels crossing "severe-plus" mark in Delhi-NCR. Entry of trucks will also be banned.
Air quality better today, but might fall again
Air quality has shown an improvement today. Around 8am, AQI had come down to 418. PM2.5 and PM10 levels also dropped to 239 microgram/cubic meter and to 386 microgram/cubic meter respectively. However, met officials have said wind speeds as well as temperatures are expected to drop once again from Sunday.