The capital did not see a single “good” air quality day throughout winter, a report by the Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED) has revealed. The air quality was ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ for nearly 90 per cent of the days in the past four months with not a single day recording a ‘good’ air quality day. Six per cent of the total winter days even fell into the ‘severe’ category with PM 2.5 levels over 300 µg/m3. The categories have been defined by the Graded Response Action Plan notified by the Supreme Court.
The bulletin on ‘Ambient Air Quality in Delhi’ released by CEED Friday observed that on November 5, the monitoring station of Delhi Technological University (DTU) near Bawana industrial area picked up the maximum average concentration of particulate matter at 981 µg/m3.
CEED’s programme officer Dimpy Suneja said the findings have been based on data collected between November 2016 and February 2017, from 10 of the 15 monitoring stations set up in Delhi by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The monthly average PM 2.5 concentration was recorded to be the highest in November at all monitoring stations, except ITO and Dilshad Garden.
“The debate surrounding air pollution lost momentum in December when pollution levels dipped. Yet, the monthly mean concentrations were still higher compared to the standard prescribed by CPCB,” said Suneja.
“A plausible reason attributed to the higher PM concentration at Anand Vihar station is the proximity to the railway junction, in addition to presence of Ghazipur landfill dumping site,” the bulletin noted. Punjabi Bagh was the other site with the highest recorded concentration.
“This has once again thrown a spotlight on winter pollution… However, this winter was better compared to previous years since the smog that hit Delhi in November served as a catalyst for the SC and the Delhi government to take steps to curb the air pollution,” Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, Centre for Science and Environment, said.