On Saturday, the city’s air quality dropped to the “very poor” category, with an AQI of 304, up from 261 the day before. It is expected to stay “very poor” until Tuesday. Pollutants have accumulated due to calm wind conditions, low temperatures, and a low mixing layer height, according to authorities.
In fact, Delhi saw its coldest night of the season on Saturday, with the lowest temperature plunging to 14.3°C, two degrees below average, at the city’s base station, Safdarjung.
It was the first time this season that the lowest temperature at Safdarjung fell below 15°C. The nighttime temperature, however, is expected to continue at 16°C for the following two days.
According to satellite data produced by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, agricultural fires have begun to increase in states in northwestern India.
Jahangirpuri is the most polluted city in the severe zone.
The number of stubble burning incidents in Punjab was 398 on Wednesday, 589 on Thursday, and 766 on Friday. On Saturday, however, Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh recorded 127, 14, and 36 incidents, respectively. The prevalence of clouds across Punjab, Haryana, and central UP prevented the detection of agricultural fires on Saturday, according to IARI, which follows the standard methodology 2021 established by the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM).
“During the night, the wind was calm, which influenced the dispersion of pollutants.” During the day, northwesterly winds gusted to 6-8 km/h. “Low temperature and a low mixing layer height also slowed the process of pollutant dispersion,” claimed a met official.
According to statistics from the Central Pollution Control Board, Jahangirpuri was the most polluted station in the city on Saturday, with an AQI of 409 reaching the “severe” category. The air quality has hit the “very poor” level for the second time this season. With an AQI of 313, it has been “very poor” for the first time this season on October 22. Measures under Stage II of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) that correspond to this category are already in place.
“The cool and calm conditions of winter are deepening now,” Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, of research and advocacy, at the Centre for Science and Environment, told TOI. High amounts of local and regional pollutants are becoming stuck. This shifts the scale to the very poor’ level. GRAP measure implementation must be strengthened.”
According to the Air Quality Early Warning System, the air quality is expected to be ‘ very bad’ until October 31. The air quality is expected to stay in the ‘ very bad’ to ‘poor’ category for the next six days beginning October 31. Meanwhile, to combat traffic pollution, the “Red Light On, Gaadi Off” campaign was launched on Saturday at the Barakhamba crossroads.