Air quality in New Delhi improved due to meteorological conditions and not because the source of pollution was addressed, environmental group Greenpeace India said on Sunday after the city’s air turned “good” for the first time this year, reported PTI. Continuous rain over the past week washed away pollutants in the air and cleaned up the sky.
Sunil Dahiya, a campaigner for Greenpeace India, said the respite was only momentary, and that the Ministry of Environment along with the Central Pollution Control Board should prioritise the enforcement of the National Clean Air Programme in a time-bound manner. The ministry has prepared a draft programme, which aims to come up with a comprehensive plan for prevention, control and reduction of air pollution, and to improve the air quality monitoring network across the country.
“The fact is that air pollution is present all year around, irrespective of seasons,” said Dahiya. “More comprehensive actions on sources of pollution are required for sustained clean air days.”
The Air Quality Index of New Delhi was recorded at 43, which falls under the “good” category. An AQI in the range of 0-50 is considered “good”, 51-100 is “satisfactory”, 101-200 “moderate”, 201-300 “poor”, 301-400 “very poor” and 401-500 is “severe”.
The PM10 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 10 mm) was recorded as “good” at 39 in Delhi-NCR and 32 in Delhi. The PM2.5 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 2.5 mm) was 39 in Delhi-NCR and 21 in Delhi – is the best so far this year – showed pollution control board data.
“The government must realise that air pollution has become a health emergency not just for India but globally as well,” Dahiya said, according to the Hindustan Times.
Forecast from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting Research indicates that PM10 and PM2.5concentrations will remain in the “good” category until Monday, reported The Times of India. The air quality is likely to worsen after the monsoon ends and stubble burning in the neighbouring states starts towards the end of September.