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COVID-19 impact: Delhi breathes third week of clean air

On Sunday, the overall Air Quality Index in Delhi stood at 82, which falls under the ‘satisfactory’ category, per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Apr 06, 2020, 08.41 AM IST
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PTI
delhi air quality pti
NEW DELHI: Delhi saw a third straight week of clean air, as the 21-day lockdown continued to reduce pollutants from industries, along with air and road traffic pollution.

On Sunday, the overall Air Quality Index in Delhi stood at 82, which falls under the ‘satisfactory’ category, per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). The weekend before this saw the best air quality in the national capital region (NCR) in 2020, with an average AQI of 46. The weekend before that, it was at 159.

There was a remarked improvement in air quality in the NCR, as the harmful PM10 and PM2.5 levels were down by 35-40% in Delhi. This drop was attributed to the restriction of the particulate matter and NOx concentration levels, both major pollutants in the NCR, according to a survey conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board.

“It is particularly interesting to note the decline in NOx levels reported from stations in industrial areas,” said Tanushree Ganguly, programme associate, Council on Energy, Environment and Water. “For instance, the 24-hour average NOx concentration reported by the RIICO Industrial area station was 152 ppb on 17th March and has been below 60 ppb since 22nd March.”

As a result, the air quality in Delhi has been significantly better than it was in 2018 or 2019 at this time of the year, she said.

“It is critical to note that we are witnessing clear skies primarily because of the reduction in non-essential travel and industrial processes. Once normalcy is restored, it would be absolutely essential to ensure that dirty industrial operations are checked and people, in general, reconsider their mobility choices,” said Ganguly.
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