<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a brief respite for Delhiites over the weekend, the air quality once again turned ‘very poor’ on Monday as more vehicles hit the streets on the first working day of the week. Experts, however, hoped that the situation will improve in the coming days as entry of pollutants from external sources has been stopped.With an alarming score of 326, the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) National Air Quality Index slotted Delhi in the ‘very poor’ zone. While it was 292 on Sunday, the count was 298 on Saturday.An AQI value between 301-400 is classified as ‘very poor’. Prolonged exposure to such air can cause respiratory illnesses, according to the CPCB . “The drizzle received in areas surrounding Delhi helped wash out the accumulated particulate. Hence, the city was able to breathe in the season’s best quality air over the last two days. However, the impact of rain is slowly fading, and the temperature has plummeted as well. Also, moisture has marginally increased.”The current air quality is a play of those meteorological conditions and emissions from internal sources,” SAFAR project director Gufran Beig said.He further informed that even though the level of pollutants is likely to increase over the next two days, it would not have a significant bearing on air quality. Incursion of emissions from external sources, such as paddy stubble burning, has stopped and the north-westerly wind is blowing, which is bringing in the cold wave from upper Himalayas.System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), an agency of the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, recorded the average values of PM 2.5 and PM 10 at 154 and 243 micrograms per cubic metre, as against the prescribed standards 60 and 100. PM 2.5 and PM 10 are descriptions for ultrafine particulates that remain suspended in the air and enter the respiratory system with inhalation, causing a host of complications, both pulmonary and cardiovascular.Delhi has been battling one of the worst pollution crisis as thick blanket of smog has covered the Capital and surrounding areas, prompting the government to take measures, including shutting down of schools and running more Metro trains. The air quality has been abysmally low for more than a fortnight, triggering major health issues among residents, including cough, congestion, constant headaches, burning eyes etc.The Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution Prevention and Control (EPCA), had even asked states including Haryana, Punjab, UP, and Rajasthan to stop all construction and demolition activities and sprinkle water on roads and at construction sites, besides banning the entry of trucks to Delhi (except those carrying essential commodities).RAIN EFFECTSAFAR project director Gufran Beig said, “The drizzle received in areas surrounding Delhi helped wash out the accumulated particulate. Hence, the city was able to breathe in the season’s best quality air over the last two days. However, the impact of rain is slowly fading, and the temperature has plummeted as well. Also, moisture has marginally increased.”

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After brief respite, city air quality deteriorates again