Delhi’s air quality dips to ‘severe’ category again, thick haze blankets capital

Friday morning witnessed a decline in Delhi\’s air quality, slipping back into the \’severe\’ category as the national capital woke up to a dense haze. Data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) indicated that most regions in the city had an air quality index (AQI) exceeding 400 at the time of this report.

Visuals shared by the news agency ANI on X unveiled a blanket of smog in various areas of the national capital, including AIIMS, Kartavya Path, DND, and Barapulla. At 8 am, the AQI readings were as follows: Anand Vihar at 407, Jahangirpuri at 402, Mundka at 408, Okhla Phase-2 at 424, Punjabi Bagh at 411, RK Puram at 401, Vivek Vihar at 438, and Wazirpur at 423.

Although Delhi\’s air quality had shown slight improvement after heavy rain on November 26, it dropped to the \’very poor\’ category on Thursday, following a day in the \’poor\’ category, according to CPCB\’s 24-hour average data. The AQI settled at 398 on Thursday, just below the 400-mark.

The Air Quality Index categorizes levels as follows: 0-50 (good), 51-100 (satisfactory), 101-200 (moderate), 201-300 (poor), 301-400 (very poor), 401-450 (severe), and above 450 (severe-plus).

On November 28, the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) lifted stage-III GRAP measures, initially implemented on November 2 due to alarming AQI levels. These measures included a ban on non-essential construction activities and restrictions on older, more polluting vehicles. The CAQM, a statutory body addressing pollution concerns in the region, stated that weather forecasts did not predict a return to the \’severe\’ category in the next few days. In November, Delhi-NCR recorded an average AQI of 373, with nine days categorized as \’severe,\’ compared to three in November the previous year, according to CAQM data.

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