The air quality in the national capital and areas around it improved significantly towards the 'moderate category' and settled in the 'poor' category on Tuesday, bringing a slight relief to the city which has been reeling under severe air pollution since the fag-end of October. Notably, Gurugram's pollution level was comparatively low, in the 'moderate' category. In the morning the Air Quality Index (AQI) docked at 218, according to the Center-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
The AQI was recorded the highest in Chandni Chowk at 319, Airport at 204, IIT Delhi at 215, Lodhi Road at 215, Mathura Road at 250, Delhi University at 258, Dhirpur at 271, Pusa at 196, and Ayanagar at 139. The AQI in Noida stood at 284 and Gurugram at 197.
The moderate surface and boundary layer winds are likely to continue on Tuesday, according to SAFAR. However, relief is likely to be short-lived and as per SAFAR-forecast model, winds are going to slow down significantly from Wednesday and may remain very calm on November 20-21.
The AQI is forecasted to slightly deteriorate to the poor category by the end of Tuesday and then further deterioration to the lower end of the 'Very Poor' by Wednesday. Pollutant accumulation leading to quick deterioration is predicted by November 20 and probability of AQI touching the lower end of 'Severe' category on November 21 is high.
Another factor working towards deterioration is the change in stubble transport-level winds to Northwest (coming from Punjab and Haryana side) and an increase in effective fire counts to 610. As transport-level very strong winds are predicted to slow down to moderate level, favouring intrusion in Delhi, the stubble share is estimated to increase to ~13% (In PM2.5) on November.
According to Skymet, strong winds over northern plains have reduced the pollution over Delhi and NCR.
Schools in Delhi-NCR have been reopened. All schools in Delhi-NCR were closed from November 14-15 due to the rise in pollution levels. The implementation of the Odd-Even scheme came to an end on Monday with the Delhi government deciding on no further extension of the scheme.