Delhi's air quality was recorded in "very poor" category as wind continued to blow from regions where there is rampant stubble burning, authorities said, warning of severe spike in pollution levels after Diwali even if "partial toxic crackers" are burnt compared to previous year. Authorities have warned of a spike in the pollution levels after Diwali on Wednesday even if "partially toxic crackers" are burnt compared to previous year.
In NCR, at 4 AM, the AQI was 435 in Ghaziabad, 425 in Greater Noida, 433 in Noida, and 421 in Faridabad, with 401 to 500 considered "severe".
"I would like to take this occasion to share with the residents of the national capital, the existing ambient air quality position and would like to request the residents to persuade their near and dear ones for desisting from bursting fire crackers and convince their children about the importance of a green and clean Diwali", he said.
Chief Engineer Karunesh Garg said that it is good thing that Amritsar's AQI is recorded good on the Diwali eve.
Coarser and highly unsafe PM2.5 or particles with diameter less than 2.5 mm continue to dominate the pollution factor in Delhi, and are still at least four times higher than the national standards and nine times the worldwide standards.
SAFAR has also predicted that the PM10 concentration of Delhi is expected to reach 575 and PM2.5 to 378 on Thursday, recording the worst air quality of the year if firecrackers are burnt, it said.
The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology also said that changes in the speed and direction of the wind, and more stubble burning, had made the air more toxic.
The contribution of stubble burning to pollution levels has decreased from 33% to 9% and is expected to decline further because of sufficiently high wind speed, the report highlighted.
"PM 2.5 levels are expected to rise, which will push air quality back to "emergency" on Thursday and Friday if Delhi bursts even 50 percent of firecrackers that it did on last year's Diwali".
The recommendation was made in view of the heavy pollution caused by such vehicles which might add to the woes of the national capital which is already battling alarming levels of pollution, another CPCB official said. An IIT Kanpur professor said weather conditions were being monitored to become favourable for creating artificial rains.
Twenty-three out of 26 monitoring stations with AQI data across Delhi reported a severe pollution level, meaning most of the city's air would affect even the healthy people.