Delhi air moves to ‘very poor’ from ‘severe’, likely to improve by evening

After breathing toxic air for nearly three days, Delhi’s air quality improved slightly on Tuesday and is expected to get better by evening, weather experts said. After Sunday’s worst air day since 2016, the air in the city moved from the ‘severe’ to ‘very poor’ category this morning.

The average air quality index (AQI) was recorded 370 at 7.30 am. On Monday, the overall AQI as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), was 407, seven notches into the ‘severe’ category. This was a considerable improvement from Sunday’s 494 AQI reading, which was the worst air day in Delhi since 2016.

Scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the pollutants from the air were cleared because of the increase in wind speed on Monday.

“It was after long, maybe after Diwali day, that the sky was clear, with sunlight being able to penetrate to the ground. On Monday, the winds also picked up pace, helping pollution levels to improve. Though in ‘severe’ zone, the toxicity in the air reduced by noon. It is expected to get better on November 5. Air quality may dip again due to cloud formation and rainfall is likely on November 6, but pollution levels will most likely dissipate by the evening,” said Kuldeep Srivastava from IMD.

The IMD also said a fresh western disturbance is approaching the north India, and scattered rainfall and change in wind direction could further improve the air quality in Delhi by November 8.

Tuesday is also the second day of the odd even road rationing scheme — one of the many initiatives by authorities to reduce air pollution.

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