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Sunny, breezy Monday and odd-even scheme improve Delhi’s air quality a tad

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 04, 2019

Foreigners wearing masks take a stroll around Delhi-NCR on Monday. A thick smog has been engulfing the Capital in recent days, though Monday did offer some respite   -  Kamal Narang

A combination of a breezy, sunny Monday and the odd-even vehicle-use scheme kicking in appears to have given Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) some breathing room, with the air quality improving slightly.

As predicted by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the region, which has been choking in noxious air because of large-scale stubble-burning in many parts of Haryana and Punjab, got a reprieve with winds of up to 26 kmph blowing in early morning.

According to SAFAR, the number of stubble burning instances between October 28 and November 1 saw similar peaks as last year. in 2018, stubble burning worsened between November 5 and 9, and if this repeats, the air quality may worsen in the capital and surrounding areas in the coming week.

SAFAR said the ratio of particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) in total PM10 composition was over 75 per cent, higher than the usual 50 per cent.

On Monday, the American Embassy in Delhi recorded very high levels of pollution with PM 2.5 peaking to 336 micrograms per cubic metre. Jhilmil industrial area in Shahdara recorded the highest level of 346. At Sri Aurbindo Marg in south Delhi, PM2.5 level in the afternoon touched 272. For the next five days from Tuesday, SAFAR sees the air quality improving a tad, from “Severe” to “Very Poor”.

The Met office has predicted a light rain or thunderstorm over Delhi-NCR between November 6 and 8, which may improve the condition slightly.

The Delhi government issued a health advisory, urging citizens to avoid physical activity during morning and late evening hours.

Less congested

Meanwhile, the roads in the capital were lot less congested, with the Delhi government’s road-use rationing scheme kicking in. Several users, many of whom drove their even numbered vehicles and many of who used a cab aggregator service, reached their destination faster with hals the number of usual vehicles off the roads.

As a result of the odd-even, car pooling service providers started seeing an increase in downloads and use, but said it was early to track the impact of odd-even scheme.

Quick Ride, a company with 10,000 users in Delhi, waived its commission of 6 per cent. It, expects at least a 2.5 times surge in users by the time the odd-even scheme ends. “We are seeing an increase in the number of active users,” Priyadarshi Singh, Director-Sales and Marketing, Delhi-NCR, Quick Ride, told BusinessLine.

Published on November 04, 2019

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