Delhi AQI improves by 35% after sudden downpour

Parts of Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, and adjacent areas of the National Capital Region witnessed a gentle rainfall during the night between Thursday and Friday, bringing a much-needed respite from the toxic air quality in the NCR. The showers were received at a time when the AAP government had scheduled artificial cloud seeding operation on November 20-21 so as to tackle the air quality of Delhi.

The Regional Weather Forecasting Centre (RWFC) has forecasted light intensity intermittent rainfall in various locations, including Delhi and the National Capital Region, Aurangabad, Hodal (Haryana), Sohana, Rewari, Bijnaur, Sakoti Tanda, Hastinapur, Meerut, etc during Friday morning. Areas like as well as Bhiwari, Khairthal, Alwar, Viratnaga, Laxmangarh, and Rajgarh in Rajasthan, etc are expected to receive light showers during the same period.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the average Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi's Anand Vihar was recorded at 462, classified as ‘severe’. However, there was an improvement to the 'moderate' category on Friday morning.

Photo: Delhi rain

Image source: Business Today

Delhi’s average AQI

On Thursday, Delhi witnessed a 'severe' average Air Quality Index (AQI), registering at 437 at 4 pm, which was a detoriation from the Wednesday reading of 426. The AQI map created by the CPCB displayed multiple clusters of red dots, signalling hazardous air quality, scattered across the Indo-Gangetic plains.

At the same time, the government has deployed ministers to oversee the enforcement of anti-pollution measures. In the course of these inspections, various Delhi ministers were observed on Thursday examining various locations and border areas linking Delhi with neighbouring states.

Govt to fund cost for artificial rain

The Delhi government has opted to cover the entire expense of artificial rain as a measure to combat the perilous air pollution in the city. Officials reported that the chief secretary has been instructed to present the government's stance before the Supreme Court on Friday. If the Central government lends support to this decision, the Delhi government aims to initiate the initial phase of artificial rain in the city by November 20.

A senior government official stated, "The chief secretary has been directed to inform the Supreme Court that the Delhi government has, in principle, agreed, based on the advice of an IIT-Kanpur team, to bear the cost of Phase 1 and Phase 2 pilots (totalling ₹13 crore) for carrying out artificial rain."

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