Delhi’s Air Quality Turns ‘Very Poor’, May Worsen On Diwali Night

Story Highlights
  • Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi reached "very poor" category.
  • Local pollution considered to be the main reason.
  • Delhi's air quality to worsen on Diwali night.

Delhi: The air quality in Delhi worsened just before Diwali, entering the ‘very poor’ level for the first time this season. According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the city’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was 303 on Tuesday. The air quality in Delhi’s neighbouring cities of Faridabad (306), Ghaziabad (334) and Noida (303) was also quite poor. Previously, on October 17, Delhi’s highest AQI of the season was 298 in the “poor” category.

An AQI of zero to 50 is regarded as ‘good,’ 51 to 100 is considered ‘satisfactory,’ 101 to 200 is considered ‘moderate,’ 201 to 300 is considered ‘poor,’ 301 to 400 is considered ‘very poor,’ and 401 to 500 is considered ‘severe.’

SAFAR, an air quality forecasting organisation, claimed stubble burning was responsible for 6% of PM2.5 pollution in Delhi on Tuesday. Local sources were responsible for the rest of the pollution. While agricultural fires have played a minor role in Delhi’s air pollution this season due to heavy rains in October, the situation is set to alter after Diwali. 

SAFAR predicts that Delhi’s air quality would deteriorate to “severe” on Diwali night, with the percentage of stubble burning in PM2.5 pollution rising to 40% the next day. SAFAR said, “Even if we consider 50 per cent of firecracker-related emissions of 2019, the AQI is predicted to degrade to the ‘severe’ category from November 4 night and will remain so till November 5.”

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