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Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution rose from 11 percent with minimum temperature of 9 degrees Celsius

Delhi on Saturday recorded a minimum temperature of 9 degrees Celsius, the lowest this season, and “poor” air quality. The capital’s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) was 280. Air quality is not expected to deteriorate significantly in the coming days. An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered “poor”, 301 and 400 as “very poor”, and 401 and 500 as “severe”.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the city recorded a minimum temperature of 9 degrees Celsius, three degrees below normal. It was the lowest temperature of the month since November 23, 2020 (6.2 degrees Celsius). The maximum temperature settled at 27 degrees Celsius. According to Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) data, Punjab reported 426 farm fires on Saturday compared to 701 on Friday.

However, the share of agricultural fires in Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution rose from 11 percent on Friday to 14 percent on Saturday, according to SAFAR, a forecasting agency under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. The Centre’s Air Quality Panel said on Friday that the ongoing anti-pollution actions under Phase I and II of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) will continue in Delhi-NCR and there is no need to apply curbs under Phase III at present.

With a view to improving air quality, the Air Quality Management Commission on Monday directed the authorities to withdraw curbs enforced in Delhi-NCR under the third phase of GRAP with immediate effect. Curbs under Stage 3 included a ban on construction and demolition activities, except for essential projects.

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