Delhi’s air quality on Thursday entered the ‘severe’ zone yet again after steadily deteriorating over the last two days and it may dip further.

The National Air Quality Index (NAQI) of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had a reading of 402 (running average) based on the data of nine monitoring stations across the city.

Level of pollutants had seen a rapid build up before Christmas, however, the situation improved a little thereafter and remained so for at least two days. Air quality had started falling again on 27 December.


The average AQI of 27-28 December were 329 and 385, both in the very poor category. Ministry of earth sciences agency System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) recorded the average levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 (24 hour, rolling) at 197 and 304 micrograms per cubic metre respectively as against the prescribed standards of 60 and 100.

It forecast that the levels are likely to be 211 and 337 respectively on Friday. The new year’s eve may see some improvement though.

Meanwhile, Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain reviewed the current situation of ambient air quality with the officers of the department and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee on Thursday. A person may develop respiratory illness on prolonged exposure to ‘very poor’ quality air while ‘severe’ may affect healthy people and seriously impact those with existing respiratory diseases, CPCB says.