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Delhi, the capital city of India, has witnessed a remarkable improvement in its air quality during the first half of this year, reaching its cleanest levels in the past eight years.
The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has reported that Delhi’s Air Quality Becomes the Best in 8 Years. Moreover, the particulate matter levels have shown significant progress compared to previous years, except for the pandemic-induced lockdown in 2020.
According to the CAQM, the average AQI recorded from January to June 2023 was 199.6, the lowest in the past eight years, except for the same period in 2020 when the average AQI stood at 171.8. Additionally, the average levels of PM10 and PM2.5, two of the most harmful particulate matter pollutants, have also seen a substantial decline.
The average PM10 level from January to June this year was 202 µg/m3, the lowest since 2016, excluding 2020, when it dropped even further to 158 µg/m3. Similarly, the PM2.5 level for the same period in 2023 was 91 µg/m3, marking a significant improvement compared to the 80 µg/m3 recorded in 2020.
The CAQM attributes this positive development to a combination of favourable meteorological conditions and determined efforts by the commission and various stakeholders to combat air pollution.
In a recent communication, the CAQM stated, “Favourable meteorological/ weather conditions coupled with consistent, comprehensive, and concerted efforts by the CAQM and various stakeholders to control air pollution in the National Capital Region helped in achieving better overall air quality in Delhi during the first half of the current year.”
Delhi’s improved air quality is further reflected in the number of days classified as ‘satisfactory’ or ‘moderate’ on the AQI scale. From January to June 2023, there were 101 days when the AQI remained within the range of 51 to 200, indicating satisfactory or moderate air quality.
However, the city has not yet attained a ‘good’ air day, characterized by an AQI of 50 or lower, in the current year. Similar observations were made in the previous two years, as data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) reveals no ‘good’ air days from January to June in 2021 and 2022. In 2020, a solitary ‘good’ air day was recorded on March 28, during the nationwide lockdown.
Likewise, no ‘good’ air days were registered during the corresponding period in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
While the progress in Delhi’s air quality is undoubtedly noteworthy, the Commission for Air Quality Management emphasizes the need to maintain momentum and strive for further improvement. It underscores the importance of continued collaboration among various stakeholders to implement effective measures for preventing, controlling, and abating air pollution in the region.
Speaking on the significance of sustained efforts, an official from the CAQM stated, “We cannot afford to be complacent. The current improvements indicate that our strategies are working, but we must remain vigilant and dedicated to achieving cleaner air for the people of Delhi-NCR. We must sustain this progress and work towards ensuring a healthier environment for all.”
As Delhi’s Air Quality Becomes the Best in 8 Years, it serves as a testament to the positive impact of collective action and environmental consciousness. The city’s citizens and authorities are encouraged to build upon this success.