Delhi pollution: A thick layer of smog engulfed the national capital on Friday as the air quality in the city dipped into the ‘severe’ category.
Visuals shared on social media showed several parts of Delhi under a layer of haze.
At 7 am, the Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city was recorded at 464, data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) showed.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered “good”, 51-100 “satisfactory”, 101-200 “moderate”, 201-300 “poor”, 301-400 “very poor” and 401-500 “severe”. An AQI above 500 falls in the “severe plus” category.
While Delhi’s AQI has remained in the “poor” and “very poor” category in the last week, scientists have warned of further deterioration in the air quality.
On Thursday 10 pm, the AQI dipped to 422, the worst of this season. The 24-hour average AQI was 364 on Wednesday, 359 on Tuesday, 347 on Monday, 325 on Sunday, 304 on Saturday, and 261 on Friday.
An air emergency was declared in the National Capital as its air quality index nosedived ahead of Diwali. All government and primary schools in Delhi have been shut in the wake of the declining air quality on Friday and Saturday.
The Delhi government imposed a ban on non-essential construction activities and on the plying of BS-3 petrol and BS-4 diesel cars in Delhi Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar.
Last week, data from the Union ministry of Earth Sciences showed that vehicular emissions, pollution from the neighbouring regions, and smoke due to stubble burning were the major reasons behind Delhi’s deteriorating air quality.
A model-based study by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune revealed that smoke from stubble burning accounted for 25 % of the PM2.5 pollution in Delhi on Thursday. It is expected to go up to 35% today.
Delhi’s air quality in October 2023 was the worst since 2020 with no rainfall in October this year. Only 5.4mm of precipitation was recorded in October 2023, in contrast to October 2022 (129 mm) and October 2021 (123 mm).