Monday, February 26, 2024

Pollution in Delhi: Capital faces worst October air quality since 2020


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Shillong, November 1: In October 2023, Delhi experienced its most severe air quality since 2020, and meteorologists attribute this concerning pollution level to the significant lack of rainfall during the month.

As per IANS, data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) reveals that Delhi reported an average Air Quality Index (AQI) of 210 in October 2023. This is in line with the AQI recorded in October 2022 but notably worse than the AQI of 173 noted in October 2021.

One major factor contributing to the deteriorating air quality was the scarcity of rainfall. In October 2023, Delhi witnessed only one rainy day, resulting in a mere 5.4 mm of precipitation. This marked a sharp contrast to the previous years, with October 2022 seeing six rainy days and 129 mm of rainfall, and October 2021 registering seven rainy days with 123 mm of precipitation.

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) pointed out that the average wind speed in Delhi during October 2023 remained relatively low. Moreover, periods of entirely calm weather conditions were observed throughout the month, hindering the dispersion of pollutants and exacerbating air quality concerns.

CPCB data revealed that throughout October 2023, Delhi did not record a single day with ‘good’ air quality. In contrast, 2022 had two such days, and 2021 had one day with ‘good’ air quality.

However, it’s worth noting that the CAQM reported that from January 1 to October 31 in 2023, Delhi achieved an AQI of 172, marking the second-best performance for this period in six years. The city only experienced better air quality during this timeframe in the pandemic-affected year of 2020.

In 2022, 2021, 2019, and 2018, the average AQI ranged from 179 to 201 during this period, according to CPCB data.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Delhi’s air quality remained in the “very poor” category for the fourth consecutive day, with the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) reaching 336, according to data from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). The AQI at various locations in the city ranged from “very poor” to “poor.”

SAFAR forecasts that the city’s air quality will further deteriorate on Wednesday, remaining in the “very poor” to “poor” categories.


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