The pollution in the national capital and areas around it dipped to the 'severe' category on Wednesday with the Air Quality Index (AQI) docking at 467, according to the Center-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). Thick toxic haze engulfed the Delhi-NCR region.
The AQI was recorded the highest in Ayanagar at 504, Dhirpur at 487, Mathura Road at 482, Airport at 477, Delhi University at 468, IIT Delhi at 462, Pusa at 447, Lodhi Road at 406 and Chandani Chowk at 393. The AQI in Noida stood at 572, Gurugram at 511, Faridabad at 441, and Greater Noida at 458.
SAFAR predicted that the air quality will improve towards "very poor" only by Thursday. "The AQI is likely to deteriorate to `severe` category for the next two days and improvement towards `very poor` is predicted only by November 14," SAFAR had said in its forecast on Tuesday.
It said under the influence of a western disturbance, no rainfall is expected in the Delhi region but the sky will be partly cloudy with cool temperature during the next two days which may lead to lowering of boundary layer height and accumulation of pollutants near the surface.
On Tuesday the AQI was in the "Severe" category at 453 and the AQI of Delhi was 416, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The AQI of the national capital region was also high with Ghaziabad (445), Noida and Greater Noida (436), Faridabad (404) having a similar experience. Haryana`s Panipat (462), Hisar (406) and Jind (439), too, were in the "severe" category.
The effective stubble fire counts estimated by SAFAR-integrated multi-satellite methodology were 1,846 on Sunday. "Stubble plume intrusion is expected to increase and a decrease in surface wind speed over the Delhi region is forecasted for the next two days," the forecast had said.
SAFAR has advised people to avoid all physical activity outdoors.