Delhi’s air quality likely to worsen due to spike in farm fires: Report

The national capital’s air quality was recorded in the “moderate” category on Tuesday morning, but it is likely to worsen in the coming days due to a spike in farm fires in Punjab, Haryana and neighbouring border regions.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR, said the city’s air quality index (AQI) will remain in the “moderate” category on Wednesday and Thursday and will start deteriorating thereafter.

The city recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 177 at 10.30 am which falls in the “moderate” category.

On Monday, the 24-hour average AQI was 179. An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.

“A sharp increase in stubble burning was observed around Punjab, Haryana, and neighbouring border regions. Boundary layer wind direction is favorable for transport (of pollutants). It will start impacting Delhi in the coming days,” the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said.

Also, there is a marked dip in minimum temperatures recorded in Delhi.

On Tuesday, it settled at 18.2 degrees Celsius, three notches below normal. Low temperatures and stagnant winds help in accumulation of pollutants near the ground, affecting air quality.

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