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Delhi's Air Quality Remains Severe on New Year's Eve, Might Worsen: Authorities

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data on Monday showed that the city recorded an overall air quality index (AQI) of 418, while the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) recorded an AQI of 430, both come under the 'severe' category.

PTI

Updated:December 31, 2018, 7:20 PM IST
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Delhi's Air Quality Remains Severe on New Year's Eve, Might Worsen: Authorities
File photo. Image for representation. (Photo: Reuters)

New Delhi: Pollution in Delhi spiked to 'severe' category on New Year's eve, prompting authorities to warn people that any increase in vehicular pollutants or burning of firecrackers would worsen air quality to emergency level.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data on Monday showed that the city recorded an overall air quality index (AQI) of 418, while the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) recorded an AQI of 430, both come under the 'severe' category.

According to the CPCB data, 25 areas in the national capital recorded 'severe' pollution, while nine witnessed 'very poor' air quality.

In the NCR, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Greater Noida and Noida recorded 'severe' air quality.

The overall PM2.5 level (fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometer) was recorded at 324 and the PM10 level at 481 in Delhi, the CPCB said.

The SAFAR said the air quality would improve slightly "provided that no additional local emissions are added on New Year eve".

"Any new trigger in terms of additional local emission, particularly from open fire, pyrotechnic display and fossil fuel burning may make air heavier, thick, with low ventilation and may lead to rapid deterioration in air quality further to severe-plus range," the SAFAR said in its new year's forecast.

It said that the air quality over Delhi is in 'severe' category and is likely to remain in severe zone for next two days as weather conditions are more adverse now.

"The deterioration in moisture-laden wind speed from west may become fatal at this stage and any new trigger, in terms of local emission, particularly from open fires, firecrackers and (burning of) fossil fuels will fast deteriorate the air quality and keep it in the 'severe' category," it said.

The India Meteorological Department and the SAFAR said the air quality is likely to remain in the 'severe' category owing to low wind speed, which is highly unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants.

The authorities warned that moderate fog and emissions during night hours may result in deterioration of the air quality and this situation may prevail till Wednesday.

The SAFAR also pointed out that a consistent day-night trend is observed for the past one week.

"During night, combination of calm wind and colder conditions is elevating the pollution level, where in many locations, 24-hour rolling average (AQI) is touching 'severe' levels for a few hours, whereas during the day, wind speed is picking up slightly and temperature is increasing to keep the level in the 'very poor' range," it said.

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