New Delhi, Nov 3 : Even before Diwali day when most Delhiites are raring to burst crackers – despite a complete ban – the air pollution across Delhi had already worsened on Wednesday evening with even the sylvan area around the US Embassy in Chanakyapuri recording an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 190 for PM2.5 concentration apart from several other places witnessing even worst AQI.
The meteorological agencies have predicted an Air Quality Index of 500 plus for Thursday and Friday when Delhiites burst crackers on Diwali day.
The AQI touched 190 at the US Embassy at 6 p.m. after an AQI of 213 at 11 a.m. and an AQI of 210 at 12 noon on Wednesday. The US government website also gave a warning: “Everyone may begin to experience health effects when AQI values are between 151 and 200. Members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.”
However, several other places in Delhi-NCR had even worse air quality in the evening. The maximum AQI within Delhi was recorded at ITO (336), followed by Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (327) and north Delhi’s Ashok Nagar (326).
Patparganj in east Delhi recorded 325 while Punjabi Bagh in west Delhi was at 321; the AQI at Rohini in north Delhi was 319, that at Aurobindo Marg in south Delhi was 306 while that at Anand Vihar in east Delhi was 300. The air quality was so poor even in central Delhi that the AQI at Lodi Road was recorded at 267.
The NCR region was no different. At 6 p.m., Ghaziabad’s Loni showed an Air Quality Index of 410 (severe) while Sanjay Nagar was at 370 (very poor).
In Noida, the Air Quality Index was 346 (very poor) at Noida Sector 116 and 325 (very poor) at Noida Sector 1 while at Greater Noida, Knowledge Park 3 recorded an AQI of 264 (poor) and Knowledge Park V showed an AQI of 311 (very poor).
Every year Delhi-NCR faces the worst kind of air quality from mid-September that peaks around Diwali time with both stubble burning from neighbouring states and Diwali crackers adding to the already polluted atmosphere from local emission sources such as construction dust, industrial pollution and even that due to thermal plants around Delhi-NCR.
An Air Quality Index between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, while 401 and 500 is considered ‘severe’.