The first severe haze hit Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) and is expected to last two more days, the Green Think-Tank Center for Science and Environment (CSE) said today.
Although the monsoon fog is intense in Delhi, the average daily contribution of farm fire smoke from mid-October to November 8 was the lowest in the last four years, it said.
“Approximately, the first episode of the season started with the combined effects of adverse weather (cold and calm winds and reversal), hay burning and fireworks,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, CSE.
Compared to the first haze episodes of the previous four years, the current haze coincided with the first haze period of the 2018 and 2020 seasons – both lasted six days. If the situation does not improve, it could surpass the 2019 haze that lasted eight days, the CSE said.
So far this year, the average haze intensity is 329 micrograms per cubic meter per day, which is lower than the haze of 2020 (6 percent) and haze of 2019 (3 percent). This is more intense than the 2018 haze (about 9 percent).
The Green Think Tank says that despite the relatively windy weather, this year’s fog could remain stable for a long time due to the city’s lack of pollution control systems.
“Although very high concentrations of PM2.5 have attracted attention, gas levels – ozone, CO or NO2 – have remained high during this foggy period. The PM2.5 concentration on Diwali night (8pm to 8am) was the strongest since 2017, ”said Avikal Sombangshi, Program Manager, Urban Lab, CSE.
This analysis is based on real-time data available from the existing working air quality monitoring centers in Delhi-NCR and the greater Indo-Gangetic plain.
“On average, the contribution of smoke to Delhi’s daily PM2.5 between mid-October to November 8 is the lowest in the last four years. So far, it has recorded an average of 12 per cent per day as against 17 per cent. 16 percent per day (as reported by SAFAR), “said CSE
“If converted to perfect density, the contribution to smoke this year stands at 26 micrograms per cubic meter this year, compared to 35 micrograms per cubic meter in 2020, 40 micrograms per cubic meter in 2019 and 31 micrograms per cubic meter in 2018,” it said.
However, the highest contribution of smoke at the PM level in Delhi was recorded on November 7 when it reached 48 per cent.
This is the second highest daily contribution percentage recorded since SAFAR started such estimates in 2018.
On November 5, 2018, the maximum one-day contribution was recorded at 58 percent.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)