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Posted on Feb 05, 04:08PM | IANS
New Delhi, Feb 5 : Heavy rain over the past two days has brought down the level of air pollution in the national capital, a scientist said Tuesday.
According to scientists, the air in Delhi currently is the cleanest in the past two months and will continue to be so this week.
Analysis of Delhi's air quality by the union Ministry Of Earth Sciences' Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), found that the level of harmful suspended particulate matter in the air was within the permissible limit.
"Delhi is finally out of poor air quality after two months. Delhi's air is going to be much better during the next three days due to rain and comparatively high temperature," Gufran Beig, a scientist at IITM, told IANS.
"For the first time since November 2012, Delhi citizens are going to breathe relatively cleaner air for next three days," said Beig.
Data obtained by the System of Air quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) - India's first air quality prediction system consisting of eight automatic air quality monitoring stations - projected a sharp fall in particulate matters PM2.5 (fine particulate matters of size less than 2.5 micrometres).
"The level of particulate matters PM2.5 is predicted to fall sharply below 60 microgram/cubic metre during the next two days as compared to last weeks value of 200 microgram/cubic metre, during which the air quality was poor," he said.
The PM2.5 level was fluctuating consistently from "very poor" to "poor" category where its value touched as high as 250 microgram/cubic many times.
"PM2.5 can lodge itself deep in the lungs, enter the bloodstream and create severe respiratory problems," said Beig.
The value of PM10, which was around 270 microgram/cubic metres last week, will drop down to 140 microgram/cubic metres in next two to three days, said Sunil Peshin, in-charge of SAFAR.
The reason for improvement in air quality is attributed to showers due to westerly disturbances and relatively warmer temperature.
"In November last year, Delhi was under the grip of critical air quality due to the coincidence of post westerly disturbance cooling and sudden change in winds coming originating from crop residue burning," said Peshin.
"The current misty weather is also due to westerly disturbances, which has helped in bringing bring down the level of particulate matters considerably," he added.