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Delhi’s November AQI: With 3 days in ‘severe’ grade, 2022 better than 2021


In the first 15 days of November, residents of Delhi- Capital Region (NCR) had to deal with fewer days of ‘severe’ as compared to the corresponding period last year. The air quality in the capital was in the ‘severe’ category for three days in 2022 as against seven in 2021. In 2020, air quality had remained in the ‘severe’ category for eight days during this period, the worst in five years, according to the (CPCB) data.

In the last 5 years, the city has not recorded a single ‘good’ air quality day in the first two weeks of November.

Meanwhile, the ‘very poor’ category persisted for eight days during this period as against seven in 2021. The city also had to contend with four ‘poor’ category days as against one such day the previous year.

On Tuesday, November 15, air quality was in the ‘poor’ category. Last year, it was in the ‘very poor’ category on this day.

This year, the capital has recorded the lowest average (AQI) of 344 in the last five years. The average AQI stood at 385 in 2021, 386 in 2020, 381 in 2019 and 351 in 2018. The lower the AQI value, the lesser the level of .

While one could say the average air quality was better than it was in five years, the index is still high and the air unhealthy.

An AQI of 0-50 is considered ‘good’, 51-100 ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 ‘moderate’, 201-300 ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’, and 401-500 ‘severe’. Above 500 is the ‘severe-plus or emergency’ category.

So, Delhi-NCR’s average air quality has been in the ‘very poor’ category this year.

Pollution levels in the city were controlled due to meteorological conditions in the first half of the month. Stubble burning has also plateaued. The pollution level will improve further as stubble burning cases in Punjab reduce.

On Wednesday, Punjab reported 141 incidents of residue burning as against 1,761 on the same day in 2021.

A total of 58,551 burning events were detected in the six states — Punjab (45,464), Haryana (3,149), Uttar Pradesh (1,457), Delhi (9), Rajasthan (1,000) and Madhya Pradesh (7,472) — from September 15 to November 15.

Amid improving pollution levels in Delhi, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) on Monday (November 14) relaxed the restrictions and further rolled back Stage III of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in the whole of NCR).

On November 6, the CAQM revoked the Stage IV (‘Severe+’ Air Quality) of GRAP.


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