Air quality in Delhi-NCR worsens, city may witness dust storms

Air quality in Delhi-NCR worsens
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DELHI: The air quality in the National Capital Region has decreased due to increase in the concentration of particulate matter. The poor air quality along with dust storms in few regions left the city gasping for fresh air on May 12.

According to air quality forecast, the air quality which was recorded under ‘very poor’ category is going to worsen on May 13, today, with air quality moving towards the ‘severe’ category.

The officials of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) explained that the lack of rain in Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Delhi has led to dust accumulating in these parts.

An official of IMD said, “Without rain, the possibility of formation and accumulation of dust increases. With the prevailing wind system, where wind is flowing from the dry western parts of the country and a western disturbance over the hills in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir is active, you get dust storm-like conditions.”

As per the air quality index (AQI) of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the city’s air was recorded in ‘very poor’ range with an AQI value of 334. At the Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium station, the concentration of PM 10 at 8 am was recorded 2,290 micrograms per cubic meters, almost 23 times the standard of 100 micrograms per cubic meters. The concentration of PM 2.5 was 254 micrograms per cubic meters against the standard of 60 micrograms per cubic meters. As winds picked up, the concentration gradually decreased.

In Gurgaon, the AQI recorded was 372 while in Ghaziabad it was 382. IMD officials said that the impact of PM 10 was more than that of PM 2.5, which points more to the presence of dust particles.

With a dust storm expected on May 13, the air quality is expected to get poorer. However, IMD has forecast light rain on May 14, which will bring down pollution levels.

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