City’s air quality drops to ‘poor’ category

The air quality in the city deteriorated to the higher end of the “poor” category on Friday, official data showed. The effect of stubble burning has increased and the air quality is expected to be in the “very poor” to “poor” levels on Saturday.

“AQI is likely to deteriorate further during the day until early morning of tomorrow and then likely to improve marginally tomorrow evening onwards but will remain in the lower end of very poor to poor due to slightly improved ventilation coefficient. The transport level winds and speed is highly favourable (north-westerly) for downward transport to Delhi,” government-run monitoring agency SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research) said in a statement.

On Friday, the contribution of stubble burning in neighbouring States to PM2.5, a chief pollutant, in Delhi increased to 20% — the highest this season — and the number of active fires counts in the region jumped to 1,112 from 502 a day ago.

The air quality index (AQI) of Delhi was 283 on Friday, up from 268 on Thursday, as per the Central Pollution Control Board’s 4 p.m. bulletin, which is an average of the past 24 hours and considered the day’s AQI.

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”.

Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam on Friday encouraged drivers to turn their vehicles off at traffic lights by giving them roses as part of the ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ campaign at Africa Avenue.

The Minister also appealed to the drivers to reduce at least one trip in a week and download the Green Delhi mobile app.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee has directed the departments to not release payments to contractors till they submit a certificate that the construction and demolition (C&D) waste produced from the sites has been delivered to an authorised C&D plant, an official order said. The amount of waste generated and deposited should also be mentioned in the certificate.

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