The national capital's air quality turned 'very poor', a day after recording 'severe' pollution, as wind speed picked up early morning and dispersed pollutants, authorities said.
The overall air quality index of Delhi was recorded at 366 by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
An official with the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) said the improvement in air quality can be attributed to increased speed of early morning winds.
"Early morning winds picked up, which came as respite and dispersed particles rapidly and pulled back air quality towards very poor range," the official said.
Delhi: According to the Air Quality Index (AQI) data, major pollutant PM 2.5 is at 262 (poor) and PM 10 at 283 (poor) in Lodhi Road area. pic.twitter.com/8COWGE8CL4— ANI (@ANI) October 31, 2018
On Tuesday, the city recorded the worst air quality of the season after pollution level turned severe at 401, prompting authorities to ban construction activities along with halting operations of industries using coal and biomass as fuel between November 1 and 10.
An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.
The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority are considering regulating use of private vehicles if the pollution level in the national capital deteriorated.
On Wednesday, the PM2.5 was recorded at 215. Fine particulates can be a matter of more serious health concern than PM10.
The PM10 level (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres) in Delhi stood at 370, according to the CPCB data.
On Wednesday, regional factors like stubble burning contributed to 22 per cent of PM2.5 pollution in the national capital, according to SAFAR.
Ten areas of Delhi recorded severe air quality while 23 areas recorded very poor air quality, according to CPCB data.
A thick pall of haze continued to engulf the national capital, and according to authorities would continue to hover over the city for the next three days.
Meanwhile, it was revealed in a report that over one lakh children under five years of age died in India in 2016 due to exposure to toxic air. As per a WHO report about 98 per cent of children in the same age group in low and middle-income countries were exposed to air pollution.
In the report, titled 'Air Pollution and Child Health: Prescribing Clean Air', deaths of about 600,000 children under 15 years of age in 2016 were attributed to the joint effects of ambient and household air pollution.
India reported 60,987 deaths of children under the age of five due to exposure to toxic air in 2016, of which 32,889 were girls and 28,097 boys.
In July, according to a new study which ranked the national capital third in a list of cities reporting most deaths due to air pollution, it was revealed that nearly 15,000 people died prematurely in Delhi due to pollution by fine particulate matter in 2016.
Shanghai was ranked first in most premature deaths at 17,600 and Beijing second with 18,200 deaths due to PM2.5 pollutant.
PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter with diameter less than 2.5 mm. PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter with diameter less than 2.5 mm.
This study reports PM2.5-related long-term mortality for the year 2016 in 13 megacities of China, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan using an integrated exposure risk (IER) model.
(With inputs from PTI)