Delhi breaths cleanest air in months

New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) After almost three months of choking pollutants and smog, Delhi on Saturday breathed much cleaner air, as the rains and the wind speed markedly improved air quality for the second consecutive day.

The harmful pollutants including particulate matters, Nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxides and ozone remained in good-moderate level across Gurugram and Noida.

The air quality for Saturday, January 28, according to the data from Centre’s air quality research agency SAFAR and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was moderate, after mostly being “very poor” and occasionally “poor” till January 26, this year, since November 2016.

SAFAR also predicts better air quality for Sunday for 10 weather stations across Delhi, Noida and Gurugram.

According to the experts, rains on January 26 and 27, and the light winds are the reason for this drastic improvements.

“We will study the exact reasons behind such fall in pollutants, though rains are definitely the reason as the particulate matters get settled on the ground,” Polash Mukherjee, Research Associate at CSE (Centre of Science and Environment), told IANS.

He added that the overall reason is however a cumulative effect of winds and rains.

The National capital saw rains on the night of Wednesday, January 25, which continued on Thursday, January 26, and Friday morning. The city for these three days witnessed at least 30.3 mm rainfall.

“On Saturday, winds from north-west blew at 15-20 kmph, Friday saw a similar situation. Delhi will see good wind speed for couple of days. This helped in dispersing the pollutants and maintaining the air quality,” Mahesh Palawat, director private weather forecaster Skymet, told IANS.

He added that the national capital may see rains again on February 5 and 6.

On Saturday, PM10 and PM2.5 (particles with diameter less than 2.5 mm) mostly ranged between moderate and good. In Noida, Mathura Road and IGI Airport, the PM2.5 level remained well under control at below 100 units, labelled “good”.

This however, is still above the norms of World Health Organisations (WHO).

As per WHO’s prescribed international standards, PM10 and PM2.5 should be 50 and 25 units annually, while as per the domestic standards, it should be 60 and 40 units, respectively.

The air-quality of Delhi mostly was “Severe or Very poor” since mid-October last year till January 26. The situation became worse in November due to agriculture residue burning in neighbouring states. Due to that schools were shut and people were advised to refrain from outdoor activities like jogging and other sports.