Over 90 Indian Cities Record Minimal Air Pollution During Lockdown

by Gizel Menezes
Over 90 Indian Cities Record Minimal Air Pollution During Lockdown

India is currently under the biggest lockdown in the world. One hundred and thirty crore people have been asked to stay at home. This move has not only significantly reduced the traffic movement across the country but has also caused air pollution levels to plummet to their lowest. In the last few days, over 90 cities in India have recorded minimal air pollution.

Image Courtesy: The Hindu

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Air Quality In Indian Cities As Per CPCB

According to the data of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality in Delhi is presently in the “good” category while in the city of Kanpur, which usually has high pollution levels, it is in the “satisfactory” category.

Around 39 other cities in the country have recorded “good” air quality and 51 cities have recorded “satisfactory” air quality in the last few days. Under the “good” category, pollution is considered to be at the lowest and the air is believed to be the healthiest to breathe.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 severe.

Image Courtesy: ABC

Air Quality In Indian Cities As Per SAFAR

According to the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the measures taken due to the coronavirus outbreak have played a significant role in lowering pollution levels across the country.

Delhi has recorded a drop in PM 2.5 levels by 30%, whereas Pune and Ahmedabad both have recorded a drop of 15%. Levels of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) pollution have also reduced. NOx pollution is caused mainly due to vehicular traffic and can increase the risk of respiratory conditions. In Pune, NOx pollution has reduced by 43%, in Mumbai by 38% and in Ahmedabad by 50%.

Gufran Beig, a scientist at SAFAR, says that local factors like shutting down of industries and construction and traffic have contributed significantly to improve air quality.

While many environmentalists have welcomed the low pollution levels, they urged that the government should treat this as a ‘wake-up call’ and stop its obsession with development, which often comes at the cost of the environment.

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