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Updated October 23rd, 2021 at 12:54 IST

Delhi air quality improves from 'Poor' to 'Moderate', likely to improve further: SAFAR

SAFAR informed that the air quality index (AQI) in Delhi was recorded at 172 this morning and is estimated to remain satisfactory over the next few days.

Nikita Bishay
Delhi
Image: PTI | Image:self
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With a recent improvement in weather conditions, Delhi's air quality is also improving and is now under the 'moderate' category after remaining 'poor' and 'very poor' for the past few days, authorities informed on Friday. 

According to the Ministry of Earth Science's forecast body, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the air quality index (AQI) in Delhi was recorded at 172 this morning and is estimated to remain satisfactory over the next few days. While speaking about the PM levels in the national capital, SAFAR said that effective fire counts stand at 894 and its share is 4% in Delhi's PM 2.5. Furthermore, the presence of local dry weather and westerly winds may lead to high PM10 levels, it added. 

A statement issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Saturday read, "The air quality over Delhi-NCR is likely to remain under Moderate category on 23 October 2021, and Moderate to Satisfactory category on 24 October 2021."

The IMD has also predicted light rain and thunderstorms in Delhi on the night of October 23 accompanied by gusty winds on Sunday, October 24. 

Crop burning deteriorating Delhi air quality 

Meanwhile, the recent burning of crop residue and stubble has resulted in a sudden spike in Delhi's air pollution. Added to that, the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has reported an increase in the number of farm fires.

IARI stated that Punjab recorded 1,111 fires followed by Haryana with 140, Madhya Pradesh with 29, Rajasthan with five, and Uttar Pradesh with three. However, Delhi has still not reported any single incident of farm fires. Stubble burning in neighbouring states adds greatly to Delhi's air pollution. Farmers set fire to their fields to clear the crop residue quickly before growing wheat and potato. It is one of the primary causes of Delhi-NCR's increase in pollution. Speaking on stubble burning, the IARI has stated that it has decreased from 969 on October 20 to 765 on October 21.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government launched the 'Red Light On, Gaadi Off' campaign on October 18 to combat air pollution, with the first phase lasting till November 18. 

(Image: PTI)

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Published October 23rd, 2021 at 12:34 IST

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