'No clean air for past five months'

Even though Delhi fared better than other cities in terms of pollution in the last few months, Delhiites did not manage to get a single ‘good’ air quality day.

According to data on air pollution of last five months by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the national capital saw a total of 115 ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ days and 13 in the ‘severe’ category.
While five days were in ‘satisfactory’ category in September and October, Delhiites did not breathe clean air on any day for five months now.

“Delhi is located at geographically and environmentally sensitive area. The dispersion of pollutants is largely influenced by meteorological conditions, particularly during transition phase of any season,” said Additional Director, air lab, CPCB.

However, in some good news for its residents, Delhi, which is constantly called the most polluted city in India, came at sixth position in terms of air quality in December and January.

The board has published a comparative air quality data of 24 cities on the basis of their Air Quality Index (AQI) with a colour code and a numerical value.

According to the data, Delhi continued to be the worst in terms of air pollution in September and October, but November onwards it started losing its position to other cities.

In November, the capital came at number three, recording an AQI of 360, compared to 374 and 366 of Lucknow and Patna respectively.

Similarly, in December and January, Delhi came down further at sixth position, with cities like Muzaffarpur in Bihar and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh showing worse air quality. However, Delhi’s air quality remained in ‘very poor’ category.

On the other hand, cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Chandarpur, Haldia, Hyderabad, had ‘moderate’ air quality during the period.

The AQI was determined based on the concentrations of eight pollutants in the air. These included Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5, PM 10, Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ozone, Ammonia and Lead.

“During critical days, everyone needs to participate for reduction of emissions from all possible sources,” Saha said.

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