Delhi-NCR air quality still very poor as stubble burning reaches Delhi

New Delhi: Still “very poor” with some regions facing a “severe” situation, the air quality in Delhi and NCR sees no scope of improvement, as despite orders and monitoring, the practice of stubble burning was reported from Delhi itself on Thursday.

As stubble burning increases and spreads across districts of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, satellite images showed cases of crop-residue burning in north Delhi towards Haryana border where farming community resides.

While the incidents of residue burning escaped the monitoring of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), which is responsible to check such cases within Delhi, officials say that appropriate action will be taken.

“We have not noticed any such cases and it should not be there… however we will check the incidents… If satellite images are showing this, then there is possibility of some garbage burning,” an official of DPCC told IANS.

As the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) expects the air quality to deteriorate further due to fog formation, weather analysts react predict change in the wind direction and type, from dry to moist, towards November 28 to further worsen the situation here.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Thursday, the average concentration of major pollutant PM2.5 or particles with diameter less than 2.5 micrometer at 7 p.m. in Delhi-NCR combined was 167, while in Delhi it was 172 as against a safe limit of 25 microgramme per cubic meters as per international standards and 60 units as per national standards.

The average air quality recorded by 25 active monitoring stations of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and the CPCB was “very poor”, except in Rajasthan’s Alwar, where the air quality was “moderate to poor”.

Meanwhile, with PM2.5 values over 250 units, Ghaziabad, Bhiwadi and Delhi Technical University in north Delhi recorded “severe plus” or “emergency” Air Quality Index (AQI).

According to the wether analyst, a western disturbance is likely around November 27 over Rajasthan and Haryana. However, this cyclonic circulation will only worsen the situation unlike the case of last week when the drizzling in Delhi-NCR due to the western disturbance bought the pollution levels down.

“The present dry and cold North-westerly winds coming from Punjab and Haryana have moderate speed today, which are suppose to change into moist south-westerly winds which will be of very low speed. Due to this the additional emissions collecting in Delhi will not dissipate while the mist and haze formation would further drop the air-quality,” Mahesh Palawat, director of private weather forecasting agency Skymet, told IANS.