The air pollution level in the national capital dipped for the second consecutive day on Monday with the Air Quality Index (AQI) reaching the 'Poor' category. The city has been reeling under severe air pollution since the fag-end of October. In the morning the AQI in Delhi docked at 218, according to the Center-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). However, the air quality in the areas around it remained in the 'Moderate' category.
The AQI was recorded the highest in Chandni Chowk at 343, followed by Dhirpur at 251, IIT Delhi and Mathura Road at 239, Lodhi Road at 228, Delhi University at 201, Airport (T3) at 208, Pusa at 204, and Ayanagar at 166. The AQI in Noida stood at 183 and Gurugram at 177.
The impact of moist air due to rain is diminishing now. Further deterioration to the 'Very Poor' category is forecasted for Tuesday (December 3). Since fire count is low, no significant stubble impact is expecting in Delhi for Monday.
After a brief respite from the toxic air, the air quality of Delhi on Sunday morning plunged into `Poor` category making difficult for locals to move outdoors.
In November, the Supreme Court had come down heavily on the Centre and state government over their failure to tackle the pollution crisis in the national capital regions. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta remarked, "The people of Delhi are living in a gas chamber. It is better to get explosives and kill everyone".
Measures like containing stubble burning activities in the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, implementation of the odd-even scheme in Delhi and banning all sort of construction activities in Delhi-NCR were taken in order to control the air pollution in the capital and adjoining areas.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered `good`, 51-100 `satisfactory`, 101-200 `moderate`, 201-300 `poor`, 301-400 `very poor` and 401-500 is marked as `severe`. An AQI above 500 falls in the `severe plus` category.
During winter each year, most of northern India suffers from a spike in toxicity in the air due to the change in weather patterns and crop residue burning in the neighbouring states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.