Recent satellite imagery from NASA has revealed the concerning extent of toxic smoke enveloping Delhi, leading experts to define it as an impending air pollution “crisis” in the capital city of India.
NASA Worldview’s visuals displayed a thick layer of smog covering the northern plains of India, causing air quality to reach unhealthy levels in several cities surrounding Delhi. On Wednesday morning, the air quality in Delhi continued to be classified as “severe,” with various stations across the city recording increased levels of PM 2.5 (particulate matter) and carbon monoxide (CO).
Neighboring areas also experienced poor air quality, with Ghaziabad’s air quality index (AQI) at 382, Gurugram at 370, Noida at 348, Greater Noida at 474, and Faridabad at 396. In the Anand Vihar station within Delhi, PM 2.5 reached 500, categorizing it as “severe,” while CO and NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) were classified as “moderate.”
The Bawana station recorded PM 2.5 and PM 10 (coarser particles) at 500, indicating a “severe” level of pollution, while CO levels were at a “moderate” level. Similarly, at Delhi Technical University (DTU) station, PM 10 was measured at 456 (“severe” category) and PM 2.5 at 356 (“very poor” category), with CO classified as “moderate.”
At the Dwarka sector 8 station, PM 10 and PM 2.5 levels were both classified as “severe,” at 465 and 457 respectively, while CO was deemed “moderate” at 135.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) scale ranges from zero to 500, with various categories including “good,” “satisfactory,” “moderate,” “poor,” “very poor,” and “severe.” The current conditions fall under the “severe” category, indicating a significant threat to public health.
The extent of this air pollution crisis in Delhi calls for immediate action to mitigate the harmful effects of the toxic smoke and improve the air quality for the well-being of the city’s residents.