Delhi’s air not affected by twin towers collapse: Experts

Delhi’s air quality was not affected by the dust created after the demolition of Supertech’s twin towers in Noida on Sunday. Experts said that at that time the north to north-westerly winds were blowing towards Greater Noida and further towards Uttar Pradesh instead of making their way across the Delhi border.

According to Hindustan Times, the air quality monitoring stations of Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) at Okhla Phase-II, Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range (Tughlakabad) and Patparganj in Delhi failed to show any jump in PM10 from 3 pm onwards. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast said that the wind direction is likely to remain northwest in the next 24 hours as well.

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Dust, which consists of coarse particles, is generally known to increase local PM 10 relative to PM 2.5. Delhi’s AQI has reached ‘very poor’ or ‘severe’ even in the summer months due to dust storms over the past few years, mainly due to high PM10 levels. However, the DPCC reading from the nearest Air Quality Monitoring Station (CAAQMS) Patparganj in East Delhi saw minimal rise after towers collapsed. Hourly PM 10 at the station and increased from 130 micrograms per cubic meter to 149 micrograms per cubic meter at 2 p.m., falling back to 132 micrograms per cubic meter at 4 p.m.

Towards South Delhi, the nearest CAAQMS across the border is Okhla-Phase II, which showed a slight drop in PM 10 from 2 pm onwards. This suggests that the controlled detonation had no effect. The PM10 content decreased from 138 micrograms per cubic meter at 2 pm to 132 micrograms per cubic meter at 3 pm and to 118 micrograms per cubic meter at 4 pm.


The wind direction is from North to North-West and after the blast, the dust gradually started flying towards Greater Noida. The wind direction is very likely to remain north-westerly till at least Monday afternoon and after that, it may turn east, however, still, Delhi is not likely to be affected by this dust as there is a change in wind direction. Quiet winds usually blow through.

-Mahesh Palawat, Vice President, Skymet Meteorology, in an interview to HT

According to the IMD, the wind direction of Delhi is likely to remain north-westerly for most of the next three days, with light rain expected in some parts of Delhi on Monday. The wind speed was strong on Sunday, but it was northwest and hence, will not affect Delhi much. There is a possibility of rain in Delhi also on Monday, so there is no possibility of dust accumulation in the Delhi side as well and there will be no impact of this event.
Meanwhile, Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) on Sunday was recorded in the ‘moderate’ category, with an AQI of 119 in a 24-hour period, according to the daily national bulletin of the Central Pollution Control Board, which started at 4 pm. is issued. This was slightly higher than Saturday’s 24-hour average reading of 105 (moderate).

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According to the ‘Early Warning System for Delhi’ developed by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), the air quality is not likely to deteriorate in the next few days.
The air quality in Delhi is likely to remain in the ‘moderate category’ on Sunday and Monday. The air quality is likely to improve then, but will remain in the ‘moderate’ to ‘satisfactory’ category on Tuesday and improve into the ‘satisfactory’ category on Wednesday.

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