If you are living in Delhi and surrounding areas of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana or Western Uttar Pradesh, you must be biting dust these days. Breath would be shorter and heavier as dust particles seem to be on “Dilli Chalo” mode. Met department says that similar weather condition will continue for next few days.
The government has declared pollution emergency in Delhi-NCR under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in consultation with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Under the GRAP, a pollution emergency is declared when PM10 breaches 500 ug/m3. Construction activities have been banned in Delhi and NCR districts of Haryana.
According to SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) – India, Delhi’s air quality is severe with PM10 level reading 816 ug/m3 today. It was at 785 ug/m3 on Thursday.
But why is there so much of dust in the air?
“The western disturbance as an upper air cyclonic circulation at 3.1 km above mean sea level over Eastern parts of Jammu and Kashmir and neighbourhood persists. Strong northwesterly/westerly winds are prevailing in the lower levels over Northern Plains,” reads the weather inference report of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
Simply put, dust is arriving in Delhi and NCR from Rajasthan and neighbouring areas of Pakistan. The low pressure in Jammu and Kashmir is the reason for dust in Punjab and Haryana. As the mercury is still soaring in Western Rajasthan and Eastern Pakistan, dust cover over North India may stay for another week.
Where is monsoon then?
Monsoon is known for its uncertainty. After staying for some days, the monsoon is showing signs of weakness. The IMD says that monsoon circulation will remain weak for next one week.
“Stagnation in further advance of southwest monsoon is likely for the coming one week due to the weakening of the monsoon circulation pattern,” it said in a release.
Moreover, June is the last pre-monsoon month for Delhi and further Northwest parts of the country. Monsoon arrives in Delhi around June 29. Till then winds coming towards Delhi stay dry.
nAccording to Skymet Weather, heating over the neighbouring areas of Rajasthan and Pakistan has seen a rising trend this year leading to excessive dryness in air accommodating extra dust in its journey towards the national capital. Winds are stronger, drier and carrying additional load of dust.
The moisture content in air is likely to improve in the final week of June. This will settle down dust.
Meanwhile, with the government directing closure of all construction activities in and around Delhi, air quality is likely to improve in a couple of days. Construction dust is considered the single-biggest pollutant in Delhi – with upto 45 per cent share.