Delhi has recorded an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 259 a day before Diwali as the ambient air quality continued to remain in ‘poor’ category.
- It was the lowest AQI recorded in Delhi a day before Deepavali in the last seven years, data available with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) showed.
- SAFAR, a forecasting agency under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, has predicted the air quality to turn ‘very poor’ on the day of Diwali and ‘severe’ on the next day considering emissions from firecrackers and an increase in the share of smoke from stubble burning.
About SAFAR –
- The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) is a national initiative introduced by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) to measure the air quality of a metropolitan city, by measuring the overall pollution level and the location-specific air quality of the city.
- The system is indigenously developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and is operationalised by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
- Pollutants monitored – PM2.5, PM10, Ozone, Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, and Mercury.
About AQI –
- The Air Quality Index (AQI) is an index for reporting daily air quality.
- It focuses on health effects one might experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air.
- AQI is calculated for eight major air pollutants – Ground-level ozone, PM10, PM2.5, Carbon monoxide, Sulphur dioxide, Nitrogen dioxide, Ammonia, Lead.
- Ground-level ozone and airborne particles are the two pollutants that pose the greatest threat to human health in India.