Delhi got a breather! City records least polluted November in last 7 years, monthly average AQI stood at 320 | The Financial Express

Delhi got a breather! City records least polluted November in last 7 years, monthly average AQI stood at 320

Compared to the same time last year, Delhi had recorded 12 ‘severe’ air quality days.

Delhi got a breather! City records least polluted November in last 7 years, monthly average AQI stood at 320
The monthly average Air Quality Index stood at 320, the second best after 2019 when it was 312. 

If you have been living in Delhi, you are not new to the smog and pollution problem that comes along with the winter months. However, this year was different as Delhi experienced a less polluted November this year. In fact, the city recorded just three ‘severe’ air quality days last month, the lowest since 2015. The national capital recorded ‘severe’ air pollution on November 1, November 2 and November 4 due to stagnant winds and a surge in stubble burning, PTI reported. The monthly average Air Quality Index stood at 320 (falls under ‘very poor’ category), the second best after 2019 when it was 312. 

According to PTI, experts attributed the relatively better air quality to the dip in the share of stubble burning in Delhi’s pollution, moderately favourable meteorological conditions and proactive implementation of curbs on pollution-causing activities. An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.

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Compared to the same time last year, Delhi had recorded 12 ‘severe’ air quality days. Nine such days were recorded in 2020, seven in 2019, five in 2018, seven in 2017, 10 in 2016 and six in 2015. The average AQI in November stood at 380 last year, 328 in 2020, 312 in 2019, 335 in 2018, 361 in 2017, 374 in 2016 and 358 in 2015, news agency PTI reported.

According to the Indian Agriculture Research Institute, Punjab, which accounts for the maximum number of cases of stubble burning every year, reported just 49,922 farm fires this season (September 15 to November 30) as against 71,304 last year and 83,002 in 2020, the report stated. Punjab logged 50,738 incidents of stubble burning in 2019, 59,684 in 2018, 67,079 in 2017 and 1,02,379 in 2016.

The share of stubble burning in Delhi’s pollution peaked at 34% on November 3. Mahesh Palawat, Vice President (meteorology and climate change), Skymet Weather, said the wind direction changed to westerly and southwesterly intermittently, reducing the share of stubble burning, PTI report said.

Delhi also logged fewer episodes of smog in the absence of heavy moisture in the air. The city also recorded its warmest November in six years, with an average maximum temperature of 28.8 degrees Celsius, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data.

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First published on: 01-12-2022 at 17:38 IST