The air quality index (AQI) for Delhi was 298 at 6 am on Diwali morning, moving it closer to the “very poor” category. Data show that 19 of the 35 air quality monitoring stations in the city recorded “very poor” air quality, while one station at Anand Vihar reported “severe” pollution levels, according to news agency ANI. The AQIs for Ghaziabad were 300, Noida 299, Greater Noida 282, Gurugram 249, and Faridabad 248. With an AQI value of 251, the city’s air quality on Sunday fell into the bad category.
A reading of AQI between 0 and 50 is regarded as excellent, 101 to 200 as satisfactory, 201 to 300 as bad, 301 to 400 as very poor, and 401 to 500 as severe.
According to ANI, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) had earlier warned that due to “calm winds and low temperatures which allow quick accumulation of pollutants in the air,” the air quality could become “very poor” on Monday morning. Further, it stated that if “no firecrackers are burst,” it will remain in the “very poor” category.
In the midst of the city’s Diwali celebrations, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) had issued the same warning. On Monday and Tuesday, the quality is predicted to continue toward the bottom end of the “very poor” range. “The air quality is likely to improve but will still remain at the lower end of the very poor category on Wednesday. The AQI in the subsequent six days is likely to remain between the ‘very poor’ and ‘poor’ category,” it said.