Delhi: Very Poor AQI Predicted To Worsen In Next Weeks Despite Heavy Rainfall

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The air quality index (AQI) of Delhi is worsening day by day, making it a city full of smog.

In the next few weeks, the AQI of the national capital is going to be worse from the very poor quality of air. The major factors behind the predicted bad AQI are stubble burning in neighboring states of Haryana and Punjab, festival season, starting from Diwali (bursting of firecrackers) and the onset of winter. Currently, Delhi has 350 AQI (very poor.) However, due to continuous rainfall in the region, the quality of air improved from a very poor category to a poor category.

Despite rainfall and improved AQI today, the 18th of October, the weather and environmental experts said, considering the aforementioned factors and stubble burning, the annual air emergency in the city would be declared soon.

The change in weather and wind pattern from the 20th of October, with intensified farm fires, would deteriorate the air quality. In regard to this, Mr. Gopal Rai, the State Environment Minister said, “Delhi’s air quality has started deteriorating because of a spike in farm fire instances in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana. To combat the annual spike in pollution levels, the Delhi Government has launched its winter action plan that focuses on 10 major problem areas, including dust emissions, waste burning and fast redressal of pollution-related complaints.”

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB,) Delhi saw the first poor day this month on the 16th of October with an air quality index (AQI) reading of 284. On Sunday, the AQI was 298, though in the ‘poor’ category, but reaching close to ‘very poor category. By Monday, the 18th of October, the AQI was below 280, but is expected to reach the very poor category soon.

According to the Delhi Government the next two weeks, which are of stubble burning are very crucial, deciding the AQI of Delhi. The government official who wished to be anonymous said, . “We are watching the situation closely and once the rain and wind pattern change, AQI levels are likely to shoot up. The rains and winds bought us time. Delhi has already recorded two ‘poor’ air days when the rain just happened, which will clean up the air for a few days. As per inputs received from the weather department, with a change in wind pattern from October 19, rain will recede and winds could slow down. A dip in night temperature is also expected from October 21.” The official further said, “This year, a delayed monsoon withdrawal and delayed rains post-withdrawal have delayed stubble burning and hence many farmers are yet to clear their fields of paddy stubble. This has reduced the window between clearing fields and sowing the next crop, which means the burning will only get more intense. We have been monitoring satellite data of farm fires to assess the situation back home.”

The rising pollution in Delhi is one of the major concerns of the Government of India (GoI) as well as the Delhi Government. Every year, during winters, the City witnesses a rise in the Air Quality Index (AQI) plummets, making Delhi an unhealthy place for people to living.

People suffering from respiratory issues need to take extra care and measures to remain safe, colleges and schools are shut down and smog covers the City.

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