Atmospheric conditions, local emissions choke Delhi

Delhi Pollution Control Committee's real-time readings showed that suspended particulate matter, PM 2.5 and PM 10, levels were way above the safe limits of 60 and 100 micrograms per cubic metre in multiple areas of the city.

PTI| Updated: Dec 01, 2015, 20:20 PM IST

New Delhi: The quality of air in Delhi, going through one of its worst smog spells this season, largely fell in the 'very poor' category with the National Air Quality Index recording 'severe' level of pollutants in areas such as Anand Vihar.

Delhi Pollution Control Committee's real-time readings showed that suspended particulate matter, PM 2.5 and PM 10, levels were way above the safe limits of 60 and 100 micrograms per cubic metre in multiple areas of the city.

System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) monitoring stations, located across the city in areas such as Delhi University, Dhirpur, Mathura Road, Pusa road had AQI of PM 2.5 and PM 10 above 300 and 200 respectively, considered 'very poor'.

"Very poor" signifies PM 10 and PM 2.5 levels between 351 and 420 and 211 to 252 micro gram per cubic metre. "Severe" is declared when PM 2.5 and PM 10 cross 253, 421 micro gram per cubic metres respectively.

Anand Vihar, a heavily congested area which also houses a interstate bus terminal, fared poorly across categories. It's air quality index hovered in and around 450 that may affect people and seriously impact those with existing diseases.

PM 10 reached nearly 700 microgram per cubic metre in Anand Vihar as per DPCC's Anand Vihar station. Mandir Marg, RK Puram, Punjabi Bagh fared no better in terms of pollution.

PM 2.5 and PM 10 are very fine respirable particulate matters that are potentially damaging to the respiratory system.

The phenomenon of smog, a harmful mixture of smoke and fog, experts say, is a play of multiple factors including high moisture levels, vehicular and industrial emissions and lack of wind movement.