Delhi Air Pollution: Delhi's Air Quality Remains 'Poor' For 5th Day, Set To Worsen In Coming Days

While Delhi's average air quality index (AQI) was 'poor', parts of the city recorded AQI in the 'very poor' category, such as Anand Vihar (326), Burari (305), Shadipur (304), etc.

Air pollution in Delhi

Delhi's air quality remained in the 'poor' category for the fifth day straight on Friday and is likely to worsen in the coming days. 

Delhi's average air quality index (AQI) was 249 as of 10:50 am, according to the air quality monitoring service SAFAR of Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).

While Delhi's average AQI was 'poor', parts of the city recorded AQI in the 'very poor' category, such as Anand Vihar (326), Burari (305), Shadipur (304), etc. 

The fall in temperature, burning of paddy in neighbouring states like Punjab, and firecrackers around Diwali worsen Delhi's air at the onset of winter every year. 

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government has identified 21 pollution hotspots and has listed a host of measures but a significant fall in pollution is yet to be seen.

The government forecast says Delhi's air quality is expected to worsen and fall to 'very poor' category on Saturday, reported PTI.

The 0-50 AQI is considered 'good', 51-100 'satisfactory', 101-200 'moderate', 201-300 'poor', 301-400 'very poor', and 401-500 'severe'. Delhi's air quality becane 'very poor' on Sunday for the first time since May, primarily because of a drop in temperature and wind speed that allowed pollutants to accumulate in Delhi's air.

Delhi's air pollution peaks during November 1-15 every year when stubble burning incidents in Punjab and Haryana is at its peak, according to an analysis conducted by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC). Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has the government in both Delhi and Punjab. India Today has reported that farm fires in Punjab are expected to rise in the coming days and the delayed harvesting season might mean that fires peak around Diwali to worsen the situation when emissions from the fires and crackers would combine.

"Despite a reduction from 2022, cases of stubble burning are expected to peak during Diwali between October 27 and November 15...Despite the claims that the farm fire cases have been reduced to nearly 50 per cent in Punjab and neighbouring Haryana, the farmers continue to burn the paddy stubble. A reality check done by India Today in Yamunanagar and Barwala revealed fields containing paddy stubble being set ablaze," reported India Today.

The report further said the fires at their peak had a share as high as 34 per (2022) 48 per cent (2022) in the Delhi's air pollution. 

In the wake of the rising pollution, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai held a meeting earlier this week with various departments and announced a slew of measures, such as the identification of eight more pollution hotspots, usage of dust suppressants, relaunch of initiative to turn off vehicle's engines at red light, etc.