Residents of Delhi woke up to witness worst air quality on Monday as the concentration of fine particulate matters PM2.5 and PM10 increased to their highest recorded levels this season.
The last time Delhi’s air quality hit such poor levels was on February 26 (AQI 274). However, the ministry of earth sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR, said the air quality index (AQI) was likely to improve slightly in the coming days due to a change in the wind direction.
The city recorded a 24-hour average AQI of 261. It was 216 on Sunday and 221 on Saturday.
The AQI hit the “very poor” levels at Delhi Technological University (307), ITO (315), Patparganj (307), Ashok Vihar (302), Jahangirpuri (320), Vivek Vihar (351), Wazirpur (306), Bawana (310) and Anand Vihar (312), a PTI report said.
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’.
A senior scientist at the Delhi Pollution Control Committee said the dip in the air quality can be attributed to low wind speed which allowed accumulation of pollutants. “Stubble burning has also increased in neighbouring states. A change in wind direction is likely to improve AQI slightly on Tuesday,” he said.