Delhi’s air quality has remained unchanged in the ‘very poor’ category with the overall AQI at 360 on Thursday, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). The AQI forecasting agency under the Ministry of Earth Sciences said that air quality in the national capital and its neighbouring cities may worsen in the next two days.
Earlier on Wednesday, the overall air quality was improved from ‘severe’ to ‘very poor’ as wind direction was favourable for the transport of stubble-related pollutants.
Delhi recorded ‘severe’ air quality for three days on the trot till Sunday due to accumulation of emissions from fireworks on Diwali and crop residue burning amid unfavourable meteorological conditions — low temperature, wind speed and mixing height.
Though 5,450 farm fires, the highest this season, were recorded in neighboring states on Sunday, their share in Delhi’s air pollution reduced from 48 per cent a day ago, the highest in three years, to 30 per cent on Monday due to a drop in transport-level wind speed, according to air quality forecast agency SAFAR.
An AQI between zero 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’.
Last year, the share of crop residue burning in Delhi’s pollution had peaked at 42 per cent on November 5. In 2019, crop residue burning accounted for 44 per cent of Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution on November 1.