Delhi's air quality worsens again, turns 'severe'
Delhi's air quality deteriorated again to the severe category today due to unfavorable meteorological conditions after showing a slight improvement yesterday.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) in the city reached 417, which is in the severe category.
Twenty-six areas in Delhi recorded severe air quality, while 8 gauged very poor, it said.
Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurugram and Noida recorded 'severe' air quality
In NCR areas, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurugram, and Noida recorded severe air quality, the CPCB said.
Delhi's air quality slightly improved yesterday with improved wind speed but due to unfavorable meteorological conditions again turned severe.
The overall PM2.5 level (fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter less than 2.5 micrometers) was recorded at 298 while PM10 level was at 468, it said
AQI: Definition and levels of air quality index
An Air Quality Index (AQI) is a number used by government agencies to measure the air-pollution level. AQI between 100 and 200 comes under moderate category, 201 and 300 is considered poor, 301 and 400 very poor, while that between 401 and 500 is severe.
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Light rainfall with calm winds might worsen the situation rapidly
Authorities said the severe air quality is due to unfavorable meteorological conditions.
It said sufficient rainfall that is predicted for today might improve the air quality but also warned that little showers with calm winds would only aggravate the situation rapidly.
As per the Center-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) model, fog intensity is likely to decline with increased gusty winds.
24-hour ban levied on entry of trucks into Delhi
"An active western disturbance is very likely to cause fairly widespread moisture intrusion over the northern region, including Delhi, but only after three days when withdrawal is expected," said SAFAR.
Trucks will be disallowed to enter till 11 pm today
The entry of trucks to Delhi would be disallowed "from 11 pm on Friday to 11 pm on Saturday in view of the severe pollution in the city", the EPCA had instructed authorities.
In a letter to the chief secretaries of Delhi and the neighboring states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, EPCA chief Bhure Lal directed them to stop the entry of trucks.
Ban imposed on trucks for second time this season
Lal directed except for those trucks carrying essential commodities, rest all should be stopped during the period. This would be the second time this season that a ban on the trucks' entry would be imposed. Earlier, it was done in November when air quality deteriorated.
Air Quality Index
Pollution in Delhi
Central Pollution Control Board
Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority