A night of cracker bursting, pushed Delhi’s air quality further into the ‘severe’ zone, touching 468 at 7am on Sunday.
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data showed that from around 3 pm on Saturday, the air quality in Delhi entered the ‘severe’ zone and continued to deteriorate throughout the evening.
At 3 pm, the hourly average AQI recorded was 405, by 6 pm; this had spiked to reach 423. By midnight, with cracker bursting continuing unchecked, the AQI levels had reached 460.
By 7.30 pm, the AQI reading at the monitoring station at Jahangirpuri had already maxed out at 500, the highest possible reading recorded in the AQI scale.
The Union ministry’s air quality monitoring centre, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), said despite the spike, this Diwali week is likely to be better than the impact seen over the last four years. The forecast said that a western disturbance passing over Delhi-NCR is likely to improve the wind speed over the city by Sunday afternoon, helping disperse the pollution particles that have accumulated close to the surface.
By Monday, the impact of light rain in parts of NCR and high wind speed will be seen more clearly.