Residents of Delhi woke up to a misty morning on Monday as the air quality, which breached the ‘very poor’ category on Sunday after remaining in the ‘poor’ zone for four days, worsened further on Monday morning, officials said.
The Air Quality Index (AQI), which stood at 311 at 4pm on Sunday, shot up to 322 around 10am on Monday. The levels of particulate matter – the primary pollutants in Delhi’s air – are gradually rising.
On a scale of 0-500, an AQI value between 0 and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.
“The high moisture level in the air is causing the problem. The air has become heavy and its holding capacity has increased. Pollutants from local emissions are getting trapped which is pushing up pollution levels,” said a senior official from the Central Pollution Control Board.
Government agencies have forecast that pollution levels would continue to remain in the very poor zone at least till Thursday.