As many as 103 cities in India registered vastly improved air quality on Sunday due to the 21-day nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
According to the data of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality index (AQI) in as many as 61 cities have recorded “satisfactory”, level and 30 cities have recorded “good” level. The air quality of 12 cities has recorded at “moderate” category.
The lockdown has kept cars off the road and closed factories, commercial establishment, movement of private and public transport, improving air quality and letting people see blue skies instead of heavy grey smog.
Last year, India accounted for around half of the world’s 50 most polluted cities. The air quality in the national Capital and the financial capital Mumbai’s is presently at “satisfactory” level.
According to the CPCB data, the air quality level are at “good” category in Chennai, Yamunanagar, Thiruvanan-thapuram, Shillong, Satna, Rohtak, Patiala, Sagar, Narnaul, Muzaffarnagar, Manesar, Ludhiana, Kanpur, Ambala and Karnal are in “good” category. The air quality index value in these cities is less than 50.
Bhatinda, Bengaluru, Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad, Alwar, Aizawl, Amravati, Kota, Amritsar, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Patna, Pune, Nagpur, Mumbai are among those cities where air quality is at “satisfactory” level and the air index value is between 50 and 100.
Muzaffarpur, Nandesari, Navi Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati Gaya, Dewas, Chandrapur and Bhiwani are in the list of moderate category where air quality index value is above 100.
CPCB officials said it is the lockdown impact. “Local factors like shutting down of industries and construction and traffic have contributed in improving the air quality. Rain is also helping, but the curbs on local emissions are playing a significant role,” officials added.
As per the CPCB data, the national capital, the world’s most polluted capital city, the air quality is presently in the “satisfactory” level and air quality index value is 62.
The air quality is likely to remain in good to satisfactorily level on Monday also.
The CPCB data said the impact of the measures taken due to the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a drop in PM2.5 (fine particulate pollutant). The level of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) pollution, which can increase the risk of respiratory conditions, has also reduced. NOx pollution is mainly caused due to high motor vehicle traffic.
According to the latest World Air Quality Report from IQAir, Gurugram was the most polluted cities in the world in 2018, with Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, and Bhiwadi in the top six worst-affected cities. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2020 highlights the dangers posed by air pollution and records that 90 per cent of millennials (people born after 1980) expect the health effects caused by it to worsen in 2020.
Monday, 30 March 2020 | Rajesh Kumar | New Delhi
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