The Asian Age – Delhi government denies spike in pollution due to fog

As per the DPCC data of the last 40 days, the PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels shot up in the week following Diwali.

New Delhi, 11 December 2016. The Delhi government on Saturday said that foggy conditions have developed a perception of spiked up pollution levels. It claimed that no major variations in air pollution levels have been witnessed in the recent days.

Delhi has seen an early onslaught of fog along with the entire North India and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that the current spell of fog will continue for the next few days.

Environment minister Imran Hussain assessed the ambient air quality of the national capital during his meeting with senior officials of the environment department and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on Saturday.

In the meeting, the pollution monitoring agency of Delhi claimed that the levels of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 and PM 10 — air pollutants that measure 2.5 micrometers or less and 10 micrometers or less, respectively — have not seen major variations of late.

The concentration of particulate matter is the major pollutant which controls the air quality in Delhi.

As per the DPCC data of the last 40 days, the PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels shot up in the week following Diwali. In the past two weeks, there has been a minor surge in the pollution levels.

“The foggy situation develops a public perception of polluted conditions. So, it is necessary to state the actual status of air pollution in Delhi and to differentiate between smog and fog. Fog/ Mist are caused by water droplets in the air while haze is the reflection of sunlight due to concentration of pollutants in air.

Smog is what happens when pollution is caused due to low lying finer aerosol or ozone,” a government statement said.

Even though the concentration of particulate matter in the air exceeds the prescribed standard, it is in the “normal range” observed in the last few years. With the fog disrupting road traffic, the Delhi police issued an advisory, urging those behind the wheels to keep safe distance and avoid making attempts to overtake other vehicles.


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