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Delhi’s air quality remains ‘very poor’ as stubble burning continues in Punjab

Delhi woke up to a thick layer of haze covering the sky as air quality in the nation’s capital dipped below the ‘severe’ category and the air quality index (AQI) plummeted at 418. The AQI in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, has dipped to a “severe” category with AQI at 469.

Even as air quality in the nation’s capital fluctuates between “very poor” and “severe”, stubble burning continues in neighboring Punjab.

SAFAR, a forecasting agency under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, said the share of farm fires in Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution stood at 12% on Wednesday. It was 14% on Tuesday, 22% on Monday, 26% on Sunday, the highest this year so far, and 21% on Saturday.

Punjab recorded 21,480 farm fires between September 15, when stubble burning usually begins, and November 2.

According to an analysis by Delhi’s Pollution Control Board, residents of the capital breathe the worst air between November 1 and November 15, when stubble burning peaks.

The city records an average PM2.5 concentration of 285 micrograms per cubic meter from November 1 to November 15.

The PM 2.5 level of 61 to 120 is considered “moderate to weak”, 121 to 250 is “very weak”, 251 to 350 is “severe”, and more than 350 is “more severe”.

First post: STI

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