Delhi air quality improves a bit but experts believe it’s not going to last long

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The air quality of Delhi continued to show improvement on Friday morning but continued ‘very poor’ with the partly clouded sky. The officials at Safar, on the other hand, said the minor break from the toxic air may not last long as the Capital is led towards another spike in pollution levels because of changing weather conditions. The Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 344 on Friday, which was slightly better from Thursday’s 348 but still in ‘very poor’ category. However, the 24-hour average of AQI on Thursday was 363.

Talking about the temperature of Friday, it was recorded at 13.9 degree Celsius and the maximum temperature is expected to be at 25.5 degree Celsius. On Thursday, the minimum temperature was recorded at 15 degree Celsius. The Indian Meteorological Department officials said that the national capital may witness another spike in pollution levels soon. The Safar project director Gurfan Beig said that “The air quality is going to get fouler during the weekend. The western disturbance… would soon withdraw. Once it withdraws, moisture would gush in and temperature will dip”.

The national capital had witnessed seven continuous days of “severe” air quality last week because of which several emergency measures like the closure of schools were implemented. Delhi had entered ‘severe’ zone on November 7 and touches its peak of 486 on November 9. The national capital experienced such an extended spell of severe air quality was in November 2016 when Delhi faced its worst smog in 17 years. The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) issued direction removing the ban on entry of trucks, construction works in Delhi, four-fold hike in parking fees also withdrawn on Thursday.

The EPFC chairman Bhure Lal wrote to the chief secretaries of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana in the morning, pointing them that the measures be lifted with ‘immediate effect’ as the conquering air quality does not warrant such tough action. “Pollution may rise again because of increased moisture in the air in the coming days. However, if the conditions continue to improve and air quality stabilizes, we will review the measures under the ‘severe’ category and inform you accordingly,” Bhure Lal wrote.

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