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Delhi-NCR receives rainfall on Wednesday, Air Quality Index remains in 'Poor' category

Zee News logo Zee News 08-01-2020 (Zee News)

 The national capital and its adjoining areas--Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad--on Wednesday morning received light rains, bringing down the temperature. As a result, traffic snarls were witnessed at several places and major arteries causing trouble for commuters. 

Vehicles move through a waterlogged road after heavy rains, near Rajiv Chowk, on December 13, 2019 in Gurugram. © Yogendra Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images Vehicles move through a waterlogged road after heavy rains, near Rajiv Chowk, on December 13, 2019 in Gurugram.

Despite the downpour, the pollution level of the national capital remained in the lower end of the 'Poor' category for the third consecutive day with the Air Quality Index (AQI) at 242, said System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). The AQI was recorded the highest in Mathura Road at 295, followed by Dhirpur at 293, Chandni Chowk at 268, Delhi University at 259, Lodhi Road at 241, Pusa at 218, Ayanagar at 215, Airport (T3) and IIT Delhi at 200. The AQI in Noida stood at 317 and Gurugram at 243.

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According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the minimum and maximum temperatures of Delhi was recorded at 12 degrees Celsius and 17 degrees Celsius. The weatherman further predicted that for the next two days the city will be engulfed by fog with the temperature oscillating between 12 degrees Celsius and 17 degrees Celsius.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered `good`, 51-100 `satisfactory`, 101-200 `moderate`, 201-300 `poor`, 301-400 `very poor` and 401-500 is marked as `severe`. An AQI above 500 falls in the `severe plus` category.

The temperature at 5.30 am in Delhi's Safdarjung was 12.8 degrees Celcius and at Palam was 14 degrees Celcius. The visibility at Safdarjung was 1,000 metres and at Palam was 1,200 metres.

Scattered to fairly widespread rainfall conditions are likely to continue up to January 9 and hence air quality is forecasted to remain in moderate to poor category. The improved air quality conditions are likely to stay long until the weekend since increased surface wind and good ventilation conditions forecasted to stay for an extended period. 

The fall in minimum temperature by 3-4 degree is expected from January 9-11 and the maximum temperature by 4 to 5 degrees during January 8-10.

During winter each year, most of northern India suffers from a spike in toxicity in the air due to the change in weather patterns and crop residue burning in the neighbouring states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

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In November 2019, the Supreme Court had come down heavily on the Centre and state government over their failure to tackle the pollution crisis in the national capital regions. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta had remarked, "The people of Delhi are living in a gas chamber. It is better to get explosives and kill everyone". 

Measures like containing stubble burning activities in the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, implementation of the odd-even scheme in Delhi and banning all sort of construction activities in Delhi-NCR were taken in order to control the air pollution in the capital and adjoining areas.

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