Delhi records AQI of 41 — lowest since records kept

The year 2018 did not record any “good” air day as well. In 2019, two consecutive ‘days were recorded on August 18 and 19, with AQI readings of 49 on both of those days.
Birds by the banks of the Yamuna on Monday.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Birds by the banks of the Yamuna on Monday.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 01, 2020 05:18 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Delhi on Monday recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 41 -- the lowest since 2015 since when AQI monitoring records are being maintained in the national capital.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) 4pm bulletin, the average AQI in Delhi was 41 in the “good” category. This was also the fourth “good” air day recorded over a month since 2015.

Board officials said the good air quality was because of a combination of factors, including incessant rainfall, good winds and already reduced levels of pollution during the lockdown months. The CPCB data says while 2015 and 2016 did not record any “good” days, two were recorded in 2017 on July 30 and 31, with AQI readings of 43 and 47, respectively.

The year 2018 did not record any “good” air day as well. In 2019, two consecutive ‘days were recorded on August 18 and 19, with AQI readings of 49 on both of those days.

So far, five “good” air days have been recorded this year.

“There were two good air days in 2017 followed by two in 2019. This year we already have five good air days, and 41 is the lowest AQI. Its good news for residents,” said a senior CPCB official who asked not to be named.

The first such day was on March 28 (during the first week of the Covid-19-induced lockdown) with an AQI reading of 45.

Then on August 13, after heavy rain, the AQI was recorded at 50. On August 20, again, when Delhi received “very heavy” rainfall, the AQI was again 50. On August 24, an AQI of 45 was recorded.

On a scale of 0-500, a value of 0-50, the air quality is considered good (minimal health risk), 51 -100 is satisfactory (minor discomfort to sensitive people), 100-200 is moderate (breathing discomfort to people with lungs and heart disease), 200-300 is poor (breathing discomfort to most people on prolonged exposure), 300-400 is very poor (respiratory illness on prolonged exposure) and 400-500 is severe (affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases).

“Usually, the monsoon months are cleaner than the rest of the year. This month, as well as this year so far, has been exceptionally good because of intense and continuous rainfall as well as good winds over the past few days, which cleansed the air of all the pollutants. Besides, the overall pollution levels have been low as an impact of the lockdown imposed to curb Covid,” said a second senior CPCB official who also asked not to be named.

HT had earlier reported that this August recorded only “good” and “satisfactory” days with not a single “poor” air quality day being recorded.

According to officials in the India Meteorological Department (IMD), with incessant rainfall over the past two weeks, this August has been the second ‘wettest’ in 12 years. The Capital received 364.8 mm rainfall this August, 30% above the normal mark.

Vivek Chattopadhyay, senior program manager, clean air programme, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said, “The air quality analysis for this year in comparison to previous years reveals the air has been much cleaner because of a combination of factors. The good meteorological conditions combined with low emission because of the lockdown and reduced economic activity even after the reopening together resulted in good air.”


    Vatsala Shrangi joined HT Editorial team on July 2, 2018 as Principal Correspondent. She covers Environment, Civic bodies and the Social Sector.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • CBI officials arrive at the residence of Congress leader Bandhu Tirkey to conduct a raid in Jharkhand National Games scam, in Ranchi, on Thursday. (PTI)

    National Games ‘scam’: CBI searches ex-minister’s houses, other locations in Jharkhand

    The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday conducted searches at 16 locations, including the residence of Jharkhand's former sports minister and Bandhu Tirkey, in the case of alleged irregularities in multi-crore equipment purchases for the 34th National Games held here in 2011, officials said. Tirkey is currently one of the four working presidents of Jharkhand Congress.

  • RJD MP Misa Bharti at her residence in New Delhi. (PTI)

    Misa Bharti, ex-MLA Faiyaz as RJD nominees for RS polls

    Rashtriya Janata Dal ( RJD) national president Lalu Prasad's eldest daughter and outgoing Rajya Sabha member Misa Bharti and former MLA Faiyaz Ahmad have been finalised as party nominees for the biennial polls to the Upper House of Parliament scheduled on June 10. Top party leaders said Prasad has already approved the two names, but there was no formal announcement of the two candidates till Thursday evening. He runs several educational institutions.

  • UP finance minister Suresh Khanna presenting the budget in assembly on Thursday. (Deepak Gupta/HT photo)

    U.P. Budget 2022-23: 4.5 lakh youths got govt jobs in last five years, says FM

    Uttar Pradesh finance minister Suresh Khanna on Thursday said employment was provided to 1.81 crore youths in private sector through private investment in the state while 4.5 lakh youths were provided government jobs in the last five years. “The unemployment rate in the state was 18 percent in June 2016. It came down to 2.9 percent in April 2022,” Khanna said.

  • UP chief Yogi Adityanath flanked by his two deputies and finance minister Suresh Khanna during a press conference on UP budget in Lucknow on Thursday. (Deepak Gupta/HT photo)

    Two crore students to be enrolled in U.P. primary, upper primary schools: Finance minister

    The state government has set a target of enrolling two crore students in primary and upper primary Basic Shiksha Parishad schools in 2022-23 under the “School Chalo Abhiyan”. Presenting the state budget for 2022-23 on Thursday, finance minister Suresh Khanna said a provision of 18,670.72 crore had been proposed for “Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan”. Khanna proposed 3,548.93 crore for mid-day meal scheme.

  • The Congress leader added that while Chidambaram was also in the contention, he could be nominated from Tamil Nadu instead (HT File)

    Former minister Mukul Wasnik likely to be Congress’ RS nominee

    Mumbai While a member of G-23, Kapil Sibal, which is a group of senior leaders seeking a far-reaching transformation in the Congress after its successive electoral debacles, took help of the Samajwadi Party for a nomination to the upper house of the Parliament, Mukul Wasnik, another member of this ginger group, may be nominated to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra. At present, the seat is represented by former finance minister P Chidambaram.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, May 26, 2022