Delhi’s Poor Air Quality

New Delhi’s air quality improved marginally on Monday morning, inching up to the “very poor” category after the Capital experienced three consecutive days of “severe” air quality due to the double impact of firecrackers burst during Diwali and stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab.

Important Highlights

  • On Sunday, the average 24-hour AQI was 428, which was in the “severe” category. On Friday, the day after Diwali, blatant violation of a ban on firecrackers had resulted in the AQI shooting up to 462 - the worst post-Diwali air quality in New Delhi since 2016.
  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) classifies an AQI of zero to 50 as “good”, 51-100 as “satisfactory”, 101-200 as “moderate”, 201-300 as “poor”, 301-400 as “very poor” and above 401 as “severe”.
  • According to the data shared by the Delhi government on Sunday, 21,623 stubble burning incidents were recorded by Nasa’s satellite in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh between November 1 and November 6.
  • Currently, steps under the “very poor” AQI category such as a ban on diesel generators and a three-to-four times increase in parking fees are in force across the city.
  • The ministry of earth sciences’ air quality monitoring centre, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) said the AQI was expected to improve by Sunday evening.

Air Quality Index (AQI)

  • The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality.
  • It focuses on health effects one might experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air.
  • AQI is calculated for eight major air pollutants:
  • Ground-level ozone
  • PM10
  • 5
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Sulfur dioxide
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Ammonia
  • Lead