Has Delhi become more breathable due to COVID-19?

See how the Air Quality of Delhi improved during Lockdown

Lockdown and Air quality!

In November 2019, just around Diwali, private weather forecasting agency Skymet, rated Delhi as the Delhi is the most polluted city in the world with an Air Quality Index (AQI) reading of 527. But this year, the picture seems a little less bleak due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and subsequent lockdown. 

As India went through prolonged lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the air quality index (AQI) of major industrial cities like Delhi, recorded a massive drop in pollution levels. On 1st September 2020, Delhis air quality improved to the "good" category. This improvement is also resulted by the favorable wind speed and good rainfall during the last month.

The Good air day

On 31st August, Monday, Delhi recorded 24-hour average AQI of 41 followed by an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 48 at 9 am with the beginning of the month of September. The transportation curbs imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 are being considered responsible for the improvement.

Notably, AQI between 0 and 50 is considered "good", 51-100 is labeled "satisfactory," 101-200 "moderate," 201-300 "poor," 301-400 "very poor," while 401-500 falls under the "severe," category. AQI above 500 falls under "severe" and "emergency" categories.

Monday was the fifth "good" air quality day for Delhi this year and noticeably, with the lowest AQI reading since the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) started maintaining air quality records five years ago.

Image courtesy: newindianexpress.com

The capital city had recorded favorable AQI values of 45, 50, 50 and 45 on March 28, August 13, August 20 and August 24, respectively. Furthermore, through August, air quality values remained between 50 and 70 on most days.

Delhi recorded 236.5 mm rainfall this August, said to be the highest in the past seven years and is predicted to witness more in next few days.


Image courtesy: indianexpress.com

A Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) official said that the improvement in Delhis air quality could be attributed to favorable weather, including good wind speed and plenty of rainfall, as well as the restrictions imposed for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier in April, after the first coronavirus-induced lockdown was imposed across the country, the pollution level in Delhi had reduced to a five-year low. In fact, the presence of PM 2.5 pollutant in the citys air dropped by nearly four times during March 25 to April 1, as compared to the corresponding period of time last year.

Information courtesy: newsbytesapp.com

cover Image courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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