In recent years, Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) have been grappling with severe air pollution problems, making headlines for their hazardous levels of air quality. However, there seems to be a silver lining emerging in the form of an overall improvement in air quality during the month of September 2023.
Delhi, India’s capital, recorded its second-best Air Quality Index (AQI) in the last six years, covering the period from January to September. With an average AQI of 167, this remarkable achievement brings a glimmer of hope to the residents who have long been suffering from the adverse effects of air pollution.
To put this into perspective, the best air quality observed in the last six years was during the pandemic-affected year of 2020. The daily average AQI for Delhi during the January to September period in 2023 stood at 167, a significant improvement compared to the previous years. In 2022, the AQI was 184, in 2021 it was 180, in 2019 it was 188, and in 2018 it was 193. These statistics clearly show a positive trend in the region’s air quality, offering respite to the residents who have been enduring unhealthy conditions for far too long.
September 10th was a standout day during this period as it marked the only ‘good’ air quality day with an AQI of 45. It is important to note that AQI is greatly influenced by factors like rain, precipitation, and wind speed. This indicates that natural elements played a significant role in helping Delhi-NCR achieve this improved air quality, underlining the importance of not just local efforts but also environmental factors in mitigating air pollution.
This improvement in air quality is a testament to the collective efforts of the government, environmental organizations, and the public in taking steps to reduce pollution levels. Measures such as the promotion of cleaner energy sources, increased green cover, and the implementation of stricter emissions standards have played a pivotal role in achieving this positive change.