Delhi managed to control its own sources of pollution better this year as compared to the last, officials in the Delhi government said. November this year, data shows, was significantly less polluted as compared to the last.
“The pollution peaks — the lowest that the air quality dips – were much lesser this year, even as the weather conditions remained similar to last year. One of the reasons was that the multiple administrations in Delhi have progressively been getting much stricter in implementing anti-pollution measures. There were barely any open burning cases reported this year,” said a Delhi Environment department official.
The environment department, transport department and civic bodies are responsible for controlling emissions in Delhi.
Diwali, crop burning closer together means better air
With Diwali and the peak crop residue burning season coinciding this year, Delhi saw better air quality in November as compared to the last. Pollution in Delhi starts increasing as temperatures dip and factors such as residue burning and increase in pollutants on Diwali come into play. Last year, there were two pollution peaks — one a day after Diwali on October 20 and in the second week of November when residue burning was at its peak. This year, both coincided and there was one peak, which was lesser than it was last November.
Air quality data from the Central Pollution Control Board shows that while there were seven severely polluted days (when the AQI is above 400) in the month last year, this year there were five. The peak pollution was also low, with the highest AQI of 486 last year as compared to 426 this year. The number of very poor air quality days (when AQI is between 301 and 400) was 19 last November as compared to 16 this year. Delhi saw 7 poor air quality days (when the AQI is between 201 and 300) this year as compared to 3 last year. A rarity this year was one moderate air quality day (when the AQI is between 101 and 200) this year. There was none last year.