As people have confined themselves to the boundaries of their homes after a 21-day lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an unintentional benefit has knocked their doors.
While people are keeping themselves and the people around them safe from the coronavirus, the lockdown has also benefitted the nature as pollution levels have come down significantly, especially in regions like Delhi-NCR where it becomes extremely difficult to breath during the festival seasion in Octoboer-November.
After suffering from ‘severe’ and ‘very poor quality’, Delhi NCR’s air quality has now reduced to satisfactory air quality on Thursday morning.
Air Quality Index (AQI) Data has revealed that the air in Delhi NCR was cleaner and the AQI was just 72. During the festive season, it reaches as much as 600.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is marked as severe/hazardous.
The improvements could be seen in clearer skies due to no fog. Interestingly, not only Delhi-NCR but other metropolitan cities like Kolkata and Chennai have also seen significant changes in air quality over the lockdown period. Kolkata, which was ‘moderate’ 141 on November 3, 2019, reduced by 40 units on March 23. Similarly, Chennai went from ‘moderate’ air quality in 2019 to ‘satisfactory’ on the same day.
In comparison to March 22, while Delhi NCR’s air quality came down from 191 to 124, the air quality in Mumbai and Kolkata changed from 54 to 64 and 76 to 108 respectively. The air quality for Bangalore and Chennai remained stable as it went from 79 to 78 in Bangalore and 64 to 65 in Chennai. Thre air quality in Mumbai on March 24 was 99, which is considered to be in the ‘satisfactory’ category (51-100).
While the air quality is better at the moment, it does not combat climate change and if there isn’t any significant change in lifestyle, then it might become tough to handle the issue.