Air quality in Delhi remained poor for the fourth consecutive day on Friday, even as authorities expressed hope that the condition would improve with strong winds expected to clear the stagnant air.
The PM10 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 10 mm) was recorded at 754 in Delhi-NCR and 801 in Delhi, leading to hazy conditions. The PM2.5 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 2.5 mm) that deteriorated from 'very poor' to 'severe' showed improvement on Friday at 184 in Delhi region and 175 in Delhi NCR, said the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.
On Thursday, the PM2.5 level in Delhi-NCR was at 268 and Delhi at 277.
“There was a dust storm from Rajasthan which resulted in deterioration of air quality and high levels of PM10. We issued an alert, convened a meeting of task force and gave an advisory to state governments. The situation should be normal in 1-2 days,” said Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
Strong winds are expected to clear the air, said Gufran Beig, a scientist at the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research institute (SAFAR).
"The air quality is expected to improve and clear the stagnated dusty air that has primarily led to the rise in the pollution level," he said.
The India Meteorological Department said that the strong winds are expected to continue over the region.
"Strong dust raising winds of the order of 25-35 kmph likely to continue over Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi and west Uttar Pradesh during next 24 hours," the IMD said.
On Thursday, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal had ordered stoppage of all civil construction activities across the city till Sunday as part of the emergency measures.
(With inputs from agencies)