Capital woke up to a smoggy morning again for the second time in this season on October 23. The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi dropped to ‘severe’ category in 12 areas, nine of which ere already marked pollution hotspots. As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, a 24-hour average AQI touched 366 on the scale falling into the ‘very poor’ category. Moreover, the neighbouring cities including Ghaziabad, Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad were no behind in pollution levels having AQIs 344, 369, 334, and 360 respectively.
Slow wind speed which recorded below 3 kmph and a rise in the concentration of pollutants owing to the incidences of stubble burning in neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab were spotted as the reason behind deteriorating air quality. According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the percentage level of PM 2.5 attributed to stubble burning was 17per cent on October 23 which is significantly higher than eight per cent on October 22.
Moreover, according to Ministry of Earth Sciences’ Air Quality Monitoring System, low wind speed and stagnant meteorological conditions will pertain till October 26 which infers that the air quality over Delhi-NCR will remain in ‘very poor’ category over the weekend.