The AQI in Delhi Has Fallen To ‘Very Poor’ For the First Time This Season

AQI in Delhi Has Fallen

For the first time this season, Delhi’s air quality fell into the “very poor” category. On Tuesday, the city’s overall air quality index (AQI) was 303, up from 281 in the “poor” category on Monday. According to experts, stubble burning contributed less to Delhi’s PM2.5 due to wind direction, but meteorological factors and local sources of pollution impacted air quality.


With the arrival of winter, calm wind conditions, shallow mixing layer height, and low temperatures have resulted in the accumulation of pollutants. On Tuesday, the lowest temperature was 14oC, and low temperatures slow the spread of pollution. Previously, the highest AQI of the season was 298 in the “poor” category on October 17. Though it had been in the “very poor” range for several hours that day, the 24-hour average AQI enhanced later in the day after rain.

The former head of the Central Pollution Control Board’s air laboratory, Dipankar Saha, stated, “In Delhi, the wind speed has ranged from 2 to 4 meters per second. The city’s lowest recorded wind speed, 2 m/s, is classified as calm wind. Pollutants have accumulated as a result of the low local wind speed. The situation will remain unchanged for the next few days, and pollutants may begin to disperse following the festival.”

The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the forecasting body under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, stated that “Delhi’s AQI is in the very poor’ category and is expected to remain so for the next two days.” Due to adverse winds from the southwest and east, the effect of forest fires is expected to be minimal. The proportion of crop residue burning emissions in PM2.5 is approximately 6%. (Effective fire count 1,795).

The Centre for Science and Environment’s executive director (research and advocacy), Anumita Roychowdhury, stated, “The first very poor day’ of the season has arrived. With winter weather toughening and trapping pollution, air quality is expected to deteriorate. To avoid a full-blown smog episode, we need a clear strategy in Delhi and across the region.”

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