New Delhi, Oct 6 (PTI) The national capital's air quality was recorded in the “moderate” category on Tuesday, but it is likely to worsen in the coming days due to a spike in the incidents of farm fires in Punjab, Haryana and neighboring border regions.
The Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality monitor, SAFAR, said the city’s air quality index (AQI) will remain in the “moderate” category on Wednesday as well and is expected to deteriorate to the lower end of the “poor” category by Friday.
The city recorded a 24-hour average AQI of 178 which falls in the “moderate” category. It was 179 on Monday.
An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.
A sharp increase in the incidents of stubble-burning was observed around Punjab, Haryana, and the neighboring border regions. The fire count was 298 on Monday, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said.
'Boundary layer wind direction is favorable for transport (of pollutants). Farm fires will start impacting Delhi in the coming days,' it said.
Also, there is a marked dip in minimum temperatures recorded in Delhi. On Tuesday, it settled at 18.2 degrees Celsius, three notches below normal.
Low temperatures and stagnant winds help in accumulation of pollutants near the ground, affecting air quality. PTI GVS TIR TIR