New Delhi: Delhi and its neighbouring areas saw a rise in pollution levels overnight, with the capital’s Air Quality Index (AQI) reaching 365 at 9 am on Tuesday, as per the Central Pollution Control Board. The AQI was 348 at 4 pm on Monday, showing a decline from 301 on Sunday. The daily average AQI, measured at 4 pm every day, was 319 on Saturday, 405 on Friday and 419 on Thursday.
The suburbs of Delhi, such as Ghaziabad (340), Gurugram (324), Greater Noida (306), Noida (338) and Faridabad (336) also recorded ‘poor’ air quality. An AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, 401 and 450 ‘severe’ and above 450 ‘severe plus’.
The Centre on Saturday relaxed some of the strict measures, including a ban on construction work related to linear projects and the entry of polluting trucks into Delhi, in view of the drop in pollution levels due to favourable wind speed and direction. These measures were part of the final stage – Stage IV – of the Centre’s air pollution control plan called the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in National Capital Region and Adjoining Area, a statutory body responsible for formulating strategies to combat pollution in the region, asked Delhi and NCR states to revoke all emergency measures, under which only CNG, electric and BS VI-compliant vehicles from other states are allowed to enter Delhi, with exemptions granted to those involved in essential services.
All medium and heavy goods vehicles not engaged in essential services were also banned in the capital under Stage IV of GRAP. According to the latest CAQM order, all other curbs under stages I, II and III of GRAP, including a ban on non-essential construction work, mining, stone crushers and diesel generators will continue. Delhi on Tuesday recorded a minimum temperature of 11.5 degrees Celsius, a notch below the season’s average, the India Meteorological Department said.
The relative humidity was recorded at 91 per cent at 8:30 am. The IMD has predicted shallow fog during the day. The maximum temperature is likely to settle around 26 degrees Celsius.