The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Friday said during the first half of 2023, for the period between January–June, Delhi registered best ever air quality during the eight years, from 2016 to 2023, barring the COVID affected year 2020.
“As of June 30, the average air quality of Delhi is in the ‘Moderate’ Category i.e. below 200 Air Quality Index (AQI). Favourable meteorological/weather conditions coupled with consistent, comprehensive and concerted efforts by Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) and various stakeholders to control air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR) helped in achieving better overall air quality in Delhi during the first half of the current year,” the Ministry said.
During the first six months of the current year, Delhi experienced a remarkable increase in the number of days categorised as ‘Good to Moderate’ on the AQI. During the eight years, from 2016 to 2023, for the period January to June, Delhi registered its best air quality during the current year, barring the time of the COVID-19 Lockdown.
The duration of the COVID-19 lockdown is not included in the above data when there were very low anthropogenic, industrial and commercial activities with the highest number of ‘Good to Moderate’ Air Quality Days.
As per the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, “The number of ‘Good to Moderate’ Air Quality Days for the first half-year period was 30 in the year 2016, 57 in 2017, 65 in 2018, 78 in 2019, 126 in 2020, 84 in 2021, 54 in 2022, and 101 in the current year 2023.”
“During this period, Delhi has also experienced the least number of days with ‘Poor to Severe’ Air Quality in 2023, as compared to the corresponding period of last eight years since 2016 (barring 2020 – the year of lockdown due to Covid). The number of ‘Poor to Severe’ Air Quality Days for the first half-year period (January to June) have also been progressively reducing from 147 in the year 2016 to 80 in the current year 2023.” the Ministry added.
The average AQI for Delhi during this period also remained in the Moderate AQI category i.e. below 200. Delhi has reported its lowest Average AQI during the current year, January to June, compared to the corresponding period for the last eight years.
Considering the daily average PM10 and PM2.5 concentration levels, during the first half-year period of 2023, Delhi has witnessed the lowest levels of daily average PM10 and PM2.5 concentration, as compared to the corresponding period for the last eight years.
The Ministry further said that this improvement signifies a substantial reduction in air pollutants, with lower levels of particulate matter, PM2.5 and PM10, and other harmful emissions. This declining trend has been sustained over a considerable period and is a testament to the commitment and action taken by CAQM and various stakeholders to improve the overall air quality of Delhi-NCR.
The Commission reiterates that it is essential to maintain the momentum and continue to strive for better air quality in Delhi-NCR in the days to come. CAQM is working closely with various stakeholders concerned to take adequate measures to prevent, control and abatement of air pollution and improve the overall air quality in the region.