Gurgaon: The city’s air quality index (AQI) continued to remain in the “severe” category for the third consecutive day on Sunday. However, there was a slight improvement in the air with the AQI dropping from 456 on Saturday to 419 on Sunday.
With the wind speed increasing, the air will further improve from Monday but AQI will stay in the high end of the ‘very poor’ category the next two days, according to the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB). On Sunday, the average wind speed increased to 8km/hr from 6km/hr on Saturday. The wind speed was only 3km/hr on Friday.
Officials said that roads are being watered across the district to reduce dust pollutants in the atmosphere. “Pollutants are already dispersing due to the continuous efforts of the civic bodies. Teams are ensuring mechanised sweeping and sprinkling of water on the roads. We are also conducting day and night patrolling to ensure that no bio-waste is burnt in the district,” said Kuldeep Singh, regional officer, HSPCB.
On Sunday, three of the four air monitoring stations in Gurgaon recorded AQI in the ‘severe’ category. The AQIs at Vikas Sadan, Teri Gram and Gwal Pahari were 426, 449 and 433, respectively. Meanwhile, Sector 51 recorded an AQI of 368 in the ‘very poor’ category.
The visibility was low throughout the morning and evening due to smog conditions. The PM2.5 and PM10 levels recorded at the four air monitoring stations were higher than the permissible limits of 60μg/m3 and 100μg/m3, respectively. Teri Gram recorded the highest PM2.5 level of 446μg/m3 whereas the PM10 level was 374μg/m3. Gwal Pahari was close on its heels with 432μg/m3 PM2.5 and 330μg/m3 PM10 levels. Meanwhile, at Vikas Sadan, the PM2.5 level was 415μg/m3 but the PM10 level was not recorded and at Sector 51, PM2.5 was 350μg/m3 and PM10 was 282μg/m3.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Gurgaon recorded a minimum temperature of 14.7 degrees Celsius and a maximum temperature of 26.2 degrees Celsius on Sunday. The low temperature prevented the dispersal of pollutants in the atmosphere, said air quality experts.
The same trend was observed in Delhi which recorded an AQI of 428, Noida with an AQI of 446 and Ghaziabad with an AQI of 455, all in the ‘severe’ category. According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), stubble burning spiked Delhi’s PM2.5 from 41% on Saturday to 48% on Sunday. Experts said that wind speed and direction and significantly high fire counts since Saturday have prevented any recovery in the AQI despite moderate wind speed.


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