Mild dust storms from the dry arid western region have led to a deterioration in the air quality of Delhi. As on Thursday, the air quality in the national capital region stood at 151 in the "moderate" category. Weeks after the city witnessed clean air and clear sky, tiny particles in the air known as PM 10 skyrocketed to 151, while PM 2.5 stood at 145.
"Long-range dust transport from the dry arid western region is engulfing the region that has led to a sudden increase in the coarser particles (PM 10)," stated an advisory issued by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
Impact on the air quality is purely attributed to external natural factors linked to dust and is independent of local emissions, the advisory added.
"Due to western winds, low humidity, rise in temperature and no rainfall, dust is lifting and blowing towards Delhi from Rajasthan. This will deteriorate the air quality of the region," Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the regional meteorological centre at the Indian Meteorological Department, had earlier said.
Maximum and minimum temperatures in the national capital will hover over 38 and 24 degrees, respectively. The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted "partly cloudy sky for Thursday.
Meanwhile, AQI in Pune, Ahmedabad and Mumbai was docked in the "satisfactory" category at 53, 86 and 60, respectively.