Delhi’s air quality ‘very poor’, may turn ‘severe’ if people burst crackers

AQI is likely to deteriorate post-Deepavali even if firecracker load is 50% of 2019: SAFAR

Delhi’s air quality is likely to deteriorate to ‘severe’ level on Friday and Saturday if pollution from firecrackers is 50% of what was seen in 2019, said authorities.

But if there is no additional pollution from firecrackers, the air quality is expected to remain in the ‘very poor’ range, which has been continuing since Tuesday.

The city’s air quality on Wednesday worsened slightly (314) from Tuesday (303) but continued in the ‘very poor’ category, according to 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.

Stubble fires to go up

The contribution of stubble burning in neighbouring States to PM2.5 in Delhi is expected to go up from 8% on Wednesday to 20% on Deepavali and 35%-40% on Friday and Saturday, said government-run monitoring agency SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research).

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’.

“However, if we consider 50% of firecracker load of 2019, then AQI is predicted to enter severe category during November 4 to 6. It is predicted to improve slightly on November 6 evening onwards but will fluctuate between high-end of very poor and severe range,” SAFAR said in a statement.

“Even a smaller increment in the local emissions due to firecrackers is likely to have a significant deterioration impact during November 4 to 6 and may put the AQI in the ‘severe’ category. The peak levels of PM10 and PM2.5 are expected between 0100 hours-0600 hours on the night of November 4 and early morning of November 5,” SAFAR said.

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