New Delhi: Delhi's air quality improved after rain lashed parts of the city Thursday evening and washed away toxic pollutants, authorities said on Friday. According to the Central Pollution Control Board data, the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) in the city was 154 which falls in the 'moderate' category.
An AQI between 100 and 200 comes under the moderate category, 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301 and 400 is 'very poor', while an AQI between 401 and 500 is 'severe'.
On Tuesday, Delhi recorded its lowest pollution levels since October after a heavy downpour and strong winds. The air quality was in the 'satisfactory' category.
Starting Wednesday, the air quality began deteriorating again and slipped into the 'poor' category before falling into 'very poor' category on Thursday morning. But incessant rainfall improved the air quality slightly in evening and on Friday it was recorded in the 'moderate' category.
On Friday, 16 areas in Delhi recorded 'moderate' air quality while it was 'poor' in four areas, the CPCB said.
In the National Capital Region, Noida, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Greater Noida recorded 'moderate' air quality, it said.
The overall PM 2.5 levels-- fine particulate matters in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers-- in Delhi was 73, while the PM 10 level was 121, it said.
The pollution level is expected to oscillate between 'moderate' and 'poor' categories for the next three days, the authorities said. The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) said the overall air quality over delhi was moderate, purely attributed to rainfall.
However, as per the forecast; air quality is expected to deteriorate slowly due to stable weather conditions where low wind speed with cooler temperature plays a dominant role.
"The AQI is likely to deteriorate to 'poor' in the next 2 days and may cross 'very poor' by Monday due to the possibility of moderate fog," it said.