New Delhi: A prolonged spell of rain in early October gave Delhi its second-best air quality in the month since 2015, when the Central Pollution Control Board started maintaining air quality index data. The capital recorded an average air quality index of 210, the best in the month after the average AQI of 173 recorded in October last year. The average AQI stood at 265 in 2020, 234 in 2019, 268 in 2018, 285 in 2017, 271 in 2016 and 264 in 2015.
“Air quality deterioration is seasonal in our country. This is because of the intrusion of dust from neighbouring countries. Low wind speed leads to accumulation of pollutants. Stubble burning, excessive use of vehicles and construction work aid in accumulation of pollutants.
“Implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan would surely reduce pollution levels,” said Dipankar Saha, former chief of CPCB’s air lab.
The city recorded two ‘good’ air quality days, the highest in eight years, and four ‘satisfactory’ days in October owing to bountiful rainfall.
On October 10, Delhi recorded a 24-hour average AQI of 44, the best since August 31, 2020.
The city did not record any ‘good’ air quality day in October from 2015 to 2020.
Delhi logged 128.2 mm of rainfall this month, the highest for October since 1956. The rainfall suppressed farm fires and kept the air clean till October 15.
However, pollution levels rebounded amid unfavourable meteorological conditions in the second half of the month. Emissions from firecrackers and stubble burning pushed the air quality in the ‘very poor’ category on Diwali.
The AQI has largely remained in the ‘very poor’ zone since then.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diarrhoea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.