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Vehicular emissions to be biggest contributor to deteriorating AQI

A joint study conducted by the Delhi government and IIT-Kanpur has revealed that vehicular emissions are the primary contributor to the deteriorating Air Quality Index (AQI) and the pervasive haze in the city. The AQI in Delhi reached a ‘severe’ category, registering 419 on the meter, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). More than half of the city’s monitoring stations, 20 out of 36, reported an AQI over 400, with the highest recorded at Nehru Nagar reaching 450, classified as ‘severe plus.’ This marks the second consecutive day of severe air quality following Diwali.

The study highlighted that on Wednesday, vehicular emissions accounted for approximately 38% of the capital’s air pollution. Over the past few days, these emissions have consistently contributed to 30-35% of the air pollution levels, as indicated by the study. IQAir, a Swiss air quality monitoring company, ranked Delhi as the most polluted city globally on Thursday, followed by Baghdad and Lahore. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) attributes the pollution to calm winds and low temperatures, creating conditions conducive to pollutant accumulation, with relief unlikely in the coming days. However, the IMD also anticipates improved wind speeds starting from November 21, which may help reduce air pollution levels.

While stubble burning accounted for 7.5% of PM 2.5 pollution, the Decision Support System under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences forecasts a decrease to 3.5% on Friday and 3% on Saturday. The air quality in neighboring cities also remained in the ‘very poor’ category, with AQI values of 376 in Ghaziabad, 363 in Gurugram, 355 in Noida, and 340 in Greater Noida.


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