Air quality turns ‘severe’ in many parts of Delhi-NCR, north India

While Delhi overall had an unhealthy AQI (297), Meerut (359), Panipat (347) and Karnal (322) were marked in ‘severe’ category

By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 16 October 2019

Air quality in several areas in the national capital region has been recorded as ‘severe’ on October 16, 2019, according to data from AQI India website.

The air quality index (AQI) is rated as ‘good’ between 0-50, ‘satisfactory’ for 51-100, ‘moderate’ for 101-200, ‘poor’ for 201-300, ‘very poor’ for 301-400 and ‘severe’ for 410-500.

At 2 pm on October 16, the air quality in Delhi overall was at 297 or ‘unhealthy’, while several areas in the capital was marked in the  ‘severe’ category, the data showed.

Particulate matter (PM) 2.5 was the primary pollutant at 297 microgramme per cubic metre (ug/m3), followed by Nitrogen Dioxide at 269 ug/m3, Sulfur Dioxide 216 ug/m3 and Carbon monoxide at 79 ug/m3.

Dwarka, which recorded 340 on air quality index, was ranked in severe category with PM 10 as the primary pollutant at 340 and PM 2.5 at 304. Asian games village (South Delhi) at 311, New Ashok Nagar (East Delhi) at 326 and Kashmiri Gate (North Delhi) at 324 were also in the ‘severe’ category.

The neighbouring areas of Meerut (359), Panipat (347) and Karnal (322) were also marked in the ‘severe’ category. Noida and Ghaziabad repectively recorded 317 and 342, while Faridabad and Palwal had 300 and 277 were in 'poor' category. 


The air quality readings across north Indian cities on Wednesday afternoon. Source:

Stubble burning is the major cause of pollution. It is responsible for around 10-15 per cent of this pollution load, according to Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) scientists. “Around 10-15 per cent of this PM 2.5 is due to crop residue burning. The winds are northwesterly currently, coming from Punjab, Haryana and bringing pollution to Delhi,” earlier said Sachin Ghude, scientist, IITM.

There has been a three-fold increase in farm fires around Delhi in the last couple of days. The IITM recorded 12 fires on October 7. This number rose to 46 the next day, 146 on October 11, and 172 on October 12.

Latest images from the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration also indicated fire incidents occurring in Punjab and Haryana, the media reported.

Besides Delhi, the air quality is also ‘unhealthy’ in Ahmedabad, in Gujarat; ‘poor’ in Pune, Kolkata and Mumbai; ‘moderate’ in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The air quality in Chennai is in ‘good’ category, the data showed.

The government has, meanwhile, rolled out Graded Response Action Plan from October 15, which means stricter measures against on use of private vehicles on roads, diesel generators, brick kilns and stone crushers. Those found violating were issued challans, served notices, and also arrested, the media reported.  

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