- Poor air quality halted India and Sri Lanka’s third test several times
- Sri Lanka players wore N95 anti-pollution masks to combat pollution
- It was tough playing in pollution: Dinesh Chandimal, Sri Lanka Captain
New Delhi: Delhi’s air quality improved to ‘poor’ today, even as a toxic haze continued to envelope parts of the national capital with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and other pollutants. The city’s average Air Quality Index (AQI) was 282 on a scale of 500, classified as ‘poor’, marking an improvement from yesterday’s 378, which fell under the ‘very poor’ category. The smog in Delhi had cast a shadow on the India-Sri Lanka Test match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium too, with captain Dinesh Chandimal and his team wearing N95 anti-pollution masks to combat pollution on day two.
The match ended in a draw today with Chandimal admitting that it was tough playing in pollution. Some of the Sri Lankan players had fallen sick.
The concentration of NO2 breached the 24-hour safe limit of 80 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) in areas like R K Puram (91.03) and Anand Vihar (86.53) while in Dilshad Garden region it hovered close to 80 unit mark in the evening.
The United Nations on December 5 marked the day as the first international smog day. It is a moment to remember all of the people who have died prematurely, and avoidably, because of the air pollution, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) had said in a statement.
Pollution is considered severe plus or emergency when readings of PM2.5 and PM10 cross 300 and 500 ug/m3, respectively. The corresponding prescribed standards are 60 and 100.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered Good, 51-100 Satisfactory, 101-200 Moderate, 201-300 Poor, 301-400 Very Poor, and 401-500 Severe.