The levels of particulate matter (PM) in Delhi’s peripheral areas remain very high despite the odd-even scheme being implemented in the capital since January 1.
Data collected by mobile monitoring vans in 55 locations across Delhi in the last four days showed that in many parts of Northeast and South Delhi, PM 10 levels were over 900 micrograms per cubic metre, against the ‘safe limit’ of 100 micrograms per cubic metre.
In Subhas Mohalla in northeast Delhi’s Babarpur, PM 10 levels touched the highest in the city at 973 micrograms per cubic metre, as per data collected by a monitoring van on January 4. The levels of PM 2.5, meanwhile, were the highest in Maidan Garhi in South Delhi’s Deoli.
However, the Delhi government blamed the spiked levels on sources of pollution from areas in the National Capital Region (NCR). “The definitive trend is that air quality is improving in central parts and other areas which are not on the border of the national capital.The PM 10 data for … 20 locations from peripheral areas of Delhi shows an adverse impact of NCR towns. PM 10 — the major cause of which is dust arising from construction waste and wind-blown dust — is on the higher side in bordering areas,” said the government in a statement Tuesday.
Data from the government’s records showed that many parts of Northeast Delhi have recorded the highest PM 10 levels. The highest levels of PM 2.5 were recorded in areas near the border in South Delhi. The ambient air data was collected by Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) teams through mobile dust samplers using Light Scattering Technique at 20 locations in peripheral areas of Delhi Monday. The data was collected for 20 minutes at each location and the average was recorded.
The time-slot of recording the data has not been disclosed. The government claimed that in “central and non-bordering areas… a definitive declining trend in levels of PM 2.5” was seen.
“According to scientists … 80 per cent of PM 2.5 air pollution is caused by vehicular traffic and reduction in its levels, even in outer areas, shows that reduction of four-wheeled vehicles on roads since New Year Day is having a positive impact,” the government said in its statement.