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Air Quality of Delhi Continues To Be ‘Very Poor’

The weather office had predicted the minimum temperature will drop to 5 degrees Celcius on Thursday

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A man rides his bicycle in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. VOA

The national capital on Wednesday continued to breathe ‘very poor’ air on the second day of the year.

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of the national capital was recorded in ‘very poor’ category late on Wednesday evening at 394.

The prominent pollutants in the air were PM2.5 and PM10.

 “The level of PM2.5 was recorded at 394 while PM10 was recorded at 391 — both falling under ‘very poor’ category,” it said.

SAFAR also said the air quality of Delhi air is improving despite “adverse weather condition”. The improvement it said was due to a “moderate wind” leading to dispersal of pollutants.

For Thursday, it has predicted that the overall air quality of the city will be recorded at 379 — ‘very poor’ category.

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Delhi air quality continues to be ‘very poor’. VOA

“Air quality is expected to remain at the border or ‘very poor’ over the next three days,” it predicted.

The city also witnessed an improvement in the minimum temperature.

The minimum temperature recorded on Wednesday was 6.6 degrees Celcius, a notch below the season’s average, against Monday’s 4 degrees Celcius.

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The maximum temperature on Wednesday settled at 23 degrees Celcius, three notches above the season’s average.

The weather office had predicted the minimum temperature will drop to 5 degrees Celcius on Thursday. (IANS)

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Smog In New Delhi Clears After Rain, AQI Remains ‘Very Poor’

Despite the pollution, there is little sign Delhi’s 20 million residents are taking steps to protect themselves.

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Smog, delhi
A man rides a motorcycle on a morning thick with smog on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Jan. 5, 2019. A Sunday morning rain improved the air quality to "very poor." VOA

A rainy spell early Sunday brought better air to residents of New Delhi, giving them a brief respite from thick gray smog that has shrouded the Indian capital for the last two months, although air quality continued to be “very poor.”

A measure of tiny, hazardous breathable particles known as PM 2.5 reached an average of 182 by 12 p.m., the Central Pollution Control Board said, its lowest since Nov. 4.

But the pollution level was still five times more than a U.S. government recommended level of 35 to stand at “unhealthy” levels, according to the U.S. embassy.

Problem not solved

“Change in weather conditions by rain or higher wind speed helps dissipate peak pollution, but we continue to need strong emergency actions such as shutting power plants,” said Anumita Roychowdhury of the Center for Science and Environment think-tank.

Delhi, air pollution, cold, smog
People take early morning walk amid smog in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. In the Indian capital, the air quality hovered between severe and very poor this week posing a serious health hazard for millions of people. VOA

The federal government air quality index rated Delhi’s air quality “very poor” Sunday and had a similar forecast for Monday, urging people with respiratory and cardiac problems to avoid polluted areas and limit outdoor movement.

A sharp drop in temperatures and wind speed over the last two weeks, combined with vehicle and industrial emissions, dust from building sites and smoke from garbage burning has stoked pollution over much of north India.

Dangerous particles

Levels of PM 2.5, or particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, hit their highest last year at 450Dec. 23.

Also Read:Toxic Air of Delhi Prompting People To Quit City

Despite the pollution, there is little sign Delhi’s 20 million residents are taking steps to protect themselves.

Activists say the apparent lack of concern gives politicians the cover they need for not tackling the issue adequately. (VOA)