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Delhites Breathe the Cleanest Air in 5 Years

Delhites Breathe the Cleanest Air in 5 Years 

Delhi on Monday, i.e., 31st of August 2020, recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 41 – the lowest since 2015 and from the time when the Central Pollution Control Board first started keeping the air quality records. 

According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) 4:00 pm bulletin, the average AQI in Delhi was 41 falling under the “good” category. What is surprising is the fact that this was also the fourth ‘good air’ day recorded over a month since 2015 when the records were first kept. 

Delhites Breathe the Cleanest Air in 5 Years
Delhites Breathe the Cleanest Air in 5 Years

Board officials attributed the good air quality to factors such as incessant rainfall, good winds, and already reduced levels of pollution during the lockdown months. The CPCB data states, while 2015 and 2016 did not record any “good air quality” days, just two days were recorded in 2017 on July 30 and 31, with AQI readings of 43 and 47, respectively. 

The year 2018 did not record any “good air quality” day as well. In 2019, two consecutive days were recorded on August 18 and 19, with AQI readings of 49 on both of those days. 

So far, five “good air quality” days have been recorded this year, 41 being the lowest AQI which seems to be a great news for the residents of Delhi.  

On a scale of 0-500, a value ranging between 0-50 of the the air quality is considered good (minimal health risk), 51 -100 is satisfactory (minor discomfort to sensitive people), 100-200 is moderate (breathing discomfort to people with lungs and heart disease), 200-300 is poor (breathing discomfort to most people on prolonged exposure), 300-400 is very poor (respiratory illness on prolonged exposure) and 400-500 is severe (affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases). 

“Usually, the monsoon months are cleaner than the rest of the year. This month, as well as this year so far, has been exceptionally good because of intense and continuous rainfall as well as good winds over the past few days, which cleansed the air of all the pollutants. Besides, the overall pollution levels have been low as an impact of the lockdown imposed to curb Covid,” according to the officials of CPCB. 

Unfortunately, India’s pollution liability regime has never prioritised the adverse impact of pollution on health. Breathing clean air is the fundamental right of every Indian citizen. As of date the country’s Air Act, 1981 fails to mentions the importance of reducing the health impact of rising pollution. To conclude, there is a urgent need to amend the current legislation on air pollution in order to emphasise the need of protecting health as a central mission that the board must ultimately work towards.  



Delhites Breathe the Cleanest Air in 5 Years 

Written By Kanishk

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