The air quality in the Capital deteriorated to 360 units on Thursday from 334 on Wednesday, remaining in the ‘very poor’ category for the eleventh day. The air quality index (AQI) at 360 is six times more than the permissible standards of 60.However, even as officials of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said the air quality is likely to improve by Monday with the winter setting in, some Delhiites complained of breathing difficulties and irritation in eyes.CPCB officials said that an increase in moisture and humidity in the winds has been the trigger for the spike.”The winter is still to set with winds coming in from the north. So far winds have been fluctuating making it difficult for pollutants to be dispersed. At present south-easterly winds are bringing in humidity which is trapping the pollutants further deteriorating the air quality,” said D Saha, head of air laboratory, CPCB.The AQI is expected to hover from 320 to 360 units until this weekend, said Saha. The air quality is measured against PM 2.5 — the most prominent pollutant in Delhi-NCR — in units of micrograms per cubic metre.However, even as the average air quality index in the capital remained in the ‘very poor’ category, NCR towns such as Ghaziabad, which is an industrial hub, continued to reel under ‘severe’ pollution levels.The Delhi government had issued a health advisory on Monday asking schools to avoid all outdoor activities including assembly, sports and other physical activities that are held in the early morning hours. Besides this, it also advised people to reduce their exposure to the air and stay indoors as much as possible.AIR QUALITY INDEXDelhi: 360 (very poor)Ghaziabad: 453 (severe) Gurgaon: 312 (very poor) Noida: 359 ( very poor) Faridabad: 322 (very poor)
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City’s air quality gets worse, AQI at 360