NCR records cleanest winter air since 2018: Report : The Tribune India

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NCR records cleanest winter air since 2018: Report

17 per cent decline in PM 2.5 level

NCR records cleanest winter air since 2018: Report

The National Capital Region saw only 10 days of ‘severe’ and ‘severe-plus’ air quality this winter season.



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) claimed that this winter has been the cleanest in National Capital Region (NCR) since large-scale air quality monitoring started in 2018.

The CSE has carried out the assessment of annual and seasonal trends of particulate matter with with diameters 2.5 micrometer and smaller (PM2.5) for the period October 1 to January 31 in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. This analysis is based on the real time data available from current working air quality monitoring stations in the NCR.

“A comprehensive analysis of PM 2.5 trends during this winter season, October 2022 to January 2023, in the NCR shows a ‘bending of the winter pollution curve and lowering of peak levels’”, the CSE report read.

The analysis was conducted by the Urban Lab of the CSE, and has revealed a continuous drop in seasonal average levels of air pollution, although elevated levels prevailed at city stations.

The city-wide winter average for Delhi stood at 160 microgram per cubic metre (µg/m³) in the October-January period this year, which is the lowest level recorded since wide-scale monitoring started in 2018-19.

Notably, the PM2.5 level computed by averaging monitoring data from 36 CAAQMS stations located in the city was 17 per cent lower compared to the seasonal average of 2018-19 winter. Based on the subset of the 10 oldest stations, there is an improvement of almost 20 per cent.

“This improvement is a combined effect of meteorology and emergency action based on pollution forecasting. There was heavy and extended rainfall in the early phases of the season that prevented smog episodes from building up and also lowered the seasonal average. This downward trend will have to be sustained with much stronger action on vehicles, industry, waste burning, construction, solid fuel and biomass burning to meet the clean air standard,” Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director (Research), CSE, said.

The analysis showed that there were still 10 days of ‘severe’ and ‘severe-plus’ air quality and one four-day long smog episode during this winter, she added. “In the extended NCR, seasonal averages varied considerably among the cities and towns, but high pollution episodes were synchronised despite large distances. Delhi and the neighbouring cities of Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurugram and Noida were relatively more polluted than other towns in the region,” Avikal Somvanshi, Senior Programme manager of the Urban Lab, CSE, said.

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