NEW DELHI: As air quality in the national capital improved significantly over the past few days, an analysis by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) shows that pollution levels came down nearly by 15 to 20 per cent during this time.
Scientists at IITM Pune’s air quality early warning system said that the reduction in air pollution was a result of the slew of emergency measures announced by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) for Delhi and NCR states to curb major pollution sources on 16 November.
The CAQM announced the measures after holding a joint meeting with Delhi and NCR states on directions of the Supreme Court. The early warning system had forecast the city’s overall air quality to slip into ‘severe’ or the upper end of the same category on 17 and 18 November. But instead on both days, the air quality index (AQI) remained in the ‘very poor’ zone.
The scientists have attributed this reduction to the restrictions on polluting activities such as construction, thermal power plants and truck movement in the NCR. “When the commission announced these measures, the air quality forecasts for the week were already in place. Without these measures, air quality in Delhi, as per the IITM EWS forecast, could have reached the upper end of the severe category. Imposing these slew of measures, CAQM managed to improve air quality by at least 15-22 per cent,” said IITM Pune scientist Sachin Ghude.