Delhi’s air quality improved further on Sunday morning, with the AQI at 345 at 11 am, down from the daily average of 381 on Saturday. According to the SAFAR forecast, Delhi’s AQI will improve in the coming two days, but will remain in the ‘very poor’ category. Air quality index (AQI) between 301 and 400 is considered to be ‘very poor’.
Officials attributed the dip in pollution level to the change in wind direction from north-westerly to south-easterly. This means that the impact of farm fires in Punjab and Haryana is not reaching Delhi at the pace it did earlier.
According to sources, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) is also planning to review the stringent orders issued recently to control pollution when the AQI reached the ‘severe+’ category. “The ban on diesel cars which are not BS-VI complaint will be relooked at. State governments can also review the directive to shut schools if the AQI does not touch the ‘severe’ category,” said an official.
According to data from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Punjab has recorded over 29,000 farm fires since September 15, with over 2,000 such fires reported per day since November 2. Haryana, meanwhile, has seen only 2,500 fires in the same period.