Delhi air quality in 'very poor' category

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The national capital and the areas around experienced the first smog episode of this season as the city turned into gas chamber a day ahead of Diwali with air quality placed in "emergency" or "beyond-severe" category.

Pollution levels in the National Capital Region (NCR) could spike after Diwali and fall back in the "severe" category because of fireworks, according to a report by the centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

Delhi's air quality Wednesday oscillated between "poor" and "very poor" categories as authorities warned of severe deterioration of air quality even if "partial toxic crackers" are burned compared to previous year. Authorities have warned of a spike in the pollution levels after Diwali on Wednesday even if "partially toxic crackers" are burnt compared to previous year. The smog and dust will continue to hover around the atmosphere resulting in no relief from increasing pollution levels. Commuters and joggers faced discomfort following poor air quality in the morning.

In a statement, he greeted the residents on Diwali and asked them to contribute to reducing he air pollution.

The Supreme Court's strict directive and a moderately high wind speed appeared to be the reason the Air Quality Index (AQI) did not reach the "severe" level.

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Air quality will be "bad" on November 8 even if "partial toxic crackers" are burned compared to a year ago, the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is marked as severe or hazardous.

However, authorities fear that after the Diwali (Hindu festival of lights) celebrations, the air pollution in Delhi is expected to rise on Thursday. The AQI around Chandni Chowk recorded PM 10 levels at 437 and PM 2.5 at 425, while PM 1O levels were 396 and 470 around Airport Terminal 3 and Delhi University area, respectively.

"There was a significant intrusion of stubble generated pollution on Monday, which has shown a declining trend on Tuesday, as we approach Diwali", he said. The ventilation coefficient is expected within 7000-8000 m2/s. Winds coming from north westerly direction bring influence of biomass burning pollutants in Delhi-NCR.

Monday morning, New Delhi residents woke up to levels of air pollution 20 times the limits recommended by the World Health Organization. An IIT Kanpur professor said weather conditions were being monitored to become favourable for creating artificial rains.