Delhi recorded a minimum temperature of 9 degrees Celsius, the lowest this season so far, and ”poor” air quality on Saturday. The capital’s 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 280. The air quality is not predicted to deteriorate significantly in the coming days. An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the city recorded a minimum temperature of 9 degrees Celsius, three notches below normal. It was the lowest temperature in the month since November 23, 2020 (6.2 degrees Celsius). The maximum temperature settled at 27 degrees Celsius. According to Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) data, Punjab reported 426 farm fires on Saturday as against 701 on Friday.
However, the share of farm fires in Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution rose from 11 per cent on Friday to 14 per cent on Saturday, according to SAFAR, a forecasting agency under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
The Centre’ air quality panel had on Friday said the ongoing anti-pollution actions under stages I and II of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) will continue in Delhi-NCR and there is no need for invoking curbs under stage III at present.
In view of the improvement in the air quality, the Commission for Air Quality Management had on Monday directed authorities to revoke the curbs enforced in Delhi-NCR under stage three of GRAP with immediate effect.
The curbs under stage 3 included a ban on construction and demolition activities, barring essential projects.