For the third consecutive day, the air quality in the national capital was in the severe category today.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the overall air quality index (AQI) in Delhi on New Year's Day was 404, while the Center-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) recorded an AQI of 405, both of which are under the severe category.
Overall PM2.5 level recorded at 280, PM10 at 465
Nineteen areas in the national capital recorded severe pollution, while 14 witnessed very poor air quality, the CPCB data showed.
Ghaziabad and Noida recorded severe air quality, while in Faridabad and Gurugram, it was recorded in the very poor category.
The overall PM2.5 level was recorded at 280, and the PM10 level at 465 in Delhi, the CPCB said.
SAFAR had warned firecracker bursting would deteriorate air quality
The SAFAR had said the air quality would improve slightly "provided that no local emissions are added on New Years eve".
"Any new trigger in terms of additional local emission, particularly from the open fire, pyrotechnic display (firecrackers), and fossil fuel burning may make air thick with low ventilation, and may lead to rapid deterioration in air quality to the severe-plus range," it said.
Delhiites flout SC order, burst firecrackers on NY Eve
But despite warnings, several instances of firecracker bursting, beyond time limit fixed by the apex court, were observed in Delhi-NCR during New Year celebrations. The SAFAR said the air quality in Delhi is likely to remain in the severe zone for the next two days.
'Any new trigger will deteriorate the air quality fast'
"The deterioration in the speed of moisture-laden wind from the west may become fatal at this stage and any new trigger will deteriorate the air-quality fast, and keep it in severe category," said SAFAR.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) and SAFAR said the air-quality is likely to remain in severe category owing to low wind speed, which is highly unfavorable for dispersion of pollutants.
Consistent day-night trend being observed for past one week: SAFAR
The authorities warned that moderate fog and emissions during night hours may result in deterioration of the air quality and this situation may prevail till Wednesday. The SAFAR also pointed out that a consistent day-night trend is being observed for the past one week.
SAFAR points out how air quality deteriorates during night hours
"During night, a combination of calm wind and the colder condition is elevating the pollution level. In many locations, 24-hour rolling average (AQI) is touching severe levels for a few hours," said SAFAR.
It further said, "Whereas during the day the wind is picking up speed slightly and the temperature is increasing to keep the level in the very poor range."