Delhi: Relief from smog only after November 7
In the toxic smog filled environment, risk for Delhiites persists until atleast November 7. Even though Meteorological department has predicted a slight improvement in smog conditions during the day on November 3 (Thursday), a significant improvement is expected only during coming week.
“According to the wind forecast, there will be gradual improvement of smog-related low visibility on Thursday and Friday–to about 1,200m. However, a high accumulation of pollutants in the atmosphere may hamper the visibility on Thursday morning,” an official told The Times of India.
“Such thick smog, even in the absence of any rainfall and low temperatures in Delhi, may trigger dense fog during the first half of the next couple of days, which is earlier than the normal arrival of fog across the capital. There are chances of dense fog requiring CAT I-III conditions at the airport with the visibility expected to reduce to 100m for 2-3 hours on Thursday.”
It has been reported that by November 6 or 7, winds of 10-15kmph are expected to set in, which will bring significant improvement in smog conditions.
In a report of Times of India it claimed from its sources that during the day , when smog or fog usually shows improvement, general visibility at the Indira Gandhi International Airport was in the range of 300-500m, on a par with the dense fog days of December and January. By 9pm, the visibility had dropped to 250m.
According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research, concentration of PM 10 will remain at a severe level till Friday, as it is likely to go down below 400 micrograms, still higher in comparison to the safe limit of 100 micrograms. However, weather officials warned people for tougher times ahead. “If it doesn’t rain or wind speed doesn’t increase, the situation is likely to get worse. Better sunshine can also make a difference. It is expected that sunshine will be a little better on Sunday onwards,” an official of the Indian Meteorological department told The Times of India.
Reportedly, air monitoring agencies say that the reason is a drop in wind speed, coupled with increase in humidity and low temperature, which worsened the situation and took the Air Quality Index (AQI) to the “severe” level. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the AQI touched the figure of 494 in Anand Vihar area on Wednesday morning. The average AQI rating for Delhi and NCR was 432, or the “severe” category.
Adverse climatic conditions, especially low wind speed have blocked dispersal of pollutants from the air from last several days, taking the toxicity level in the region at its worst level since Diwali night. It has been claimed by the Met department that there would be a gradual fall in temperatures over northwest India, including Delhi, in the next few days.
However, in such situations the government had said it would soon initiate measures to curb the rising pollution, though no deadline had been fixed for these measures to be implemented. Among the steps proposed are using sprinklers on roads, putting up mist fountains at five major traffic junctions, installing chimneys in crematoriums and waste management measures to minimise methane emissions.
As a result of such adverse conditions, Yamuna Expressway witnessed 20-vehicle pile up due to dense smog and lack of visibility, and yesterday DND flyover between Delhi-Noida witnessed 5 accidents.