According to the latest data released by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Monday, days marked poor, very poor and severe on the AQI have come down to 120 between January 1 and August 26, down from 153 in 2016 and 125 in 2017.
After being a topic of heated discussions for most part of the last few years (especially during winter), Delhi air has finally shown some signs of improvement. According to the latest data released by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Monday, days marked poor, very poor and severe on the AQI have come down to 120 between January 1 and August 26, down from 153 in 2016 and 125 in 2017.
Based on Indian ambient air quality, AQI is an index that considers pollutants like sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5), ozone, lead, carbon monoxide and ammonia. The data showed that there were 118 days of satisfactory to moderate air quality in 2018, five more than 2017 when 113 days ranged from good to moderate while only 74 days showed a similar trend in 2016.
CPCB said that a number of measures have contributed to this improvement including the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), meteorological conditions, and better coordination between multiple agencies in the National Capital.
CPCB member-secretary Prashant Gargava told The Indian Express that there are multiple reasons behind better air quality. He said better multi-agency coordination was one of the major reasons for bringing down air pollution levels.
The Centre had claimed in Lok Sabha that measures like comprehensive action plan put in place by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, strict action against construction activities, surveillance of coal-fired plants, and task forces set up on the ground by the CPCB has helped curb pollution levels.
The future looks better for the national capital region as the ban on petcoke and furnace oil will start showing results during the winter.
Apart from this, CPCB has requested the Ministry of Earth Sciences and the IMD, to provide weekly advanced information and alert it about the impending dust storms so that ground actions can be initiated by the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) that tackles sources such as road dust, construction dust, open burning and vehicular pollution.