On Monday, Delhiites got a much-wanted respite from the excruciating smog. However, their joy proved short-lived when the quality of air started deteriorating again on Tuesday amid speculation that the air quality might slip to 'severe' category by Thursday due to a gradual dip in wind speed.
The air quality had improved marginally on Monday from 'very poor' to 'poor' category.
The clear blue sky, chilly wind and sunny day gave a feel of winter's arrival. Snowfall at hills coupled with northerly winds affected the weather. Calling this phenomenon as a good sign, experts had even predicted toxin free air in a couple of days. But they seem to be off the mark.
Delhi is again staring at the situation when people were forced to inhale toxic air.
The overall Air quality Index (AQI) at 9.30 am in Delhi was 218 as compared to Monday's AQI of 215. The concentration of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 was at 96 while the PM10 level was recorded at 154 .
The Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality information service, SAFAR, in its bulletin on Monday, said, "The overall Delhi AQI of Delhi improved significantly towards the 'moderate' category as predicted. However, relief is likely to be short-lived and as per SAFAR-forecast model, winds are going to slow down significantly from tomorrow and may remain very calm on 20th and 21st November."
"Forecast shows AQI will slightly deteriorate to the 'poor' category by the end of today and then further deteriorate to the lower end of the 'Very Poor' category by tomorrow. Pollutant accumulation leading to quick deterioration is predicted by November 20 and probability of AQI touching the lower end of the Severe category on November 21 is high," it further stated.
Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Noida recorded their air quality in the 'poor' category with AQI at 256, 218 and 227 respectively. Gurugram remained in the 'moderate category' with AQI at 138.