On Christmas Day (December 25), the pollution level in the national capital Delhi decreased slightly, but it remained in the ‘very poor’ category. Due to a variety of variables, Delhi’s air quality has fluctuated between ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ in recent weeks.
According to media reports, the air quality index (AQI) reached 398 on Saturday morning, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the morning was also frigid, with the temperature settling at 7 degrees Celsius, a notch below normal.
According to CPCB data, the AQI in Delhi was ‘severe’ on Friday, with a reading of 433 at 7 a.m. On Thursday, the average 24-hour AQI was 423. The AQI was 407 on Wednesday, up from 402 on Tuesday.
An AQI of zero to fifty is deemed “excellent,” 51 to one hundred “acceptable,” 101 to 200 “moderate,” 201 to 300 “poor,” 301 to 400 “extremely poor,” and 401 to 500 “severe.”
Despite poor air quality and restricted visibility, flight operations at Delhi airport are unaffected.
The AQI was in the ‘severe’ category in Delhi’s neighbours, Noida and Gurugram, in the national capital region (NCR). According to media, the AQI in Noida was 491, while in Gurugram it was 365.
According to weather experts, a western disturbance impacting northwest India is causing pollution to accumulate, and the high moisture content in the air makes pollutants heavier, making dispersion difficult.
Between December 27 and December 29, light rain is expected across the plains of north India, which may help to improve air quality.
According to the weather bureau, Delhi will see mostly clear skies on Saturday, with a maximum temperature of 23 degrees Celsius.
Because of an improvement in air quality and a “favourable” climatic outlook, the CAQM relaxed restrictions on building and demolition activities in the Delhi-NCR and truck entry into the national capital on Monday.
The next day, though, Delhi’s air quality deteriorated to the point of being ‘severe.’