NEW DELHI: People were able to breathe clean air across the country during janata curfew in the wake of COVID-19 Sunday with air quality improving in a majority of India’s most polluted industrial cities and metro cities with major pollutants tanking down.According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, the level of PM 10, PM 2.5, nitrogen oxide and ozone level among other pollutants recorded a downfall. The 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of the country’s most polluted cities saw a sharp decline in pollution levels.
The janata curfew call saw countrywide adherence with people restricting their movements. The voluntary restriction brought some respite to from pollution.The Air Quality Index (AQI) on country’s top polluted cities, mainly industrial hubs, such as Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad and Gurugram saw air quality between moderate and unhealthy for sensitive groups category from usual unhealthy to hazardous category on general days. Majority of these cities are in the world’s most polluted cities.
“We have seen a sharp decline in PM 10 and PM 2.5 level in some of the polluted cities. Hourly level data in Delhi shows that the particulate matter level came down to nearly 20 micrograms per cubic meter from 273 micrograms per cubic meter at some major polluted stretches,” said CPCB member-secretary Dr Prashant Gargava. Among capital cities, Delhi recorded the stark difference in AQI level as it settled at 124.