Delhi Witnesses Improved Air Quality in First Half of 2023


As of June 30th, the average air quality in Delhi has been categorized as ‘Moderate’ on the Air Quality Index (AQI), indicating a level below 200. The positive development can be attributed to favorable meteorological conditions as well as the dedicated efforts of the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) and other stakeholders in curbing air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR). The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released a press release on the same on 30th June, 2023.

During the first six months of this year, Delhi experienced a notable increase in the number of days with ‘Good to Moderate’ air quality on the AQI. In fact, excluding the period of significantly reduced anthropogenic, industrial, and commercial activities in 2020 due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the current year has witnessed the highest number of ‘Good to Moderate’ air quality days in the past eight years (2016-2023). The count for the first half of the year, from January to June, stood at 101 in 2023, surpassing the figures of previous years: 30 in 2016, 57 in 2017, 65 in 2018, 78 in 2019, 126 in 2020, 84 in 2021, and 54 in 2022.

Furthermore, Delhi has experienced the fewest number of days with ‘Poor to Severe’ air quality during the same period in 2023, compared to the past seven years since 2016 (excluding 2020, which saw the Covid-19 lockdown). The count of ‘Poor to Severe’ air quality days has progressively decreased from 147 in 2016 to 80 in 2023.

The average AQI for Delhi during this period has also remained in the Moderate category, below 200. The current year (January-June) has recorded the lowest average AQI in Delhi compared to the same period in the past seven years (2016 onwards). Additionally, the daily average concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5, two key particulate matter pollutants, have reached their lowest levels during the first half of 2023, demonstrating a substantial reduction in air pollutants and harmful emissions. This positive trend reflects the sustained commitment and actions taken by the CAQM and various stakeholders to improve the overall air quality in Delhi-NCR.

The Commission emphasizes the importance of maintaining this momentum and continuing efforts to further improve the air quality in Delhi-NCR. CAQM is actively collaborating with concerned stakeholders to implement effective measures for the prevention, control, and abatement of air pollution in the region. The focus remains on sustaining and enhancing the progress achieved so far, ensuring cleaner and healthier air for the residents of Delhi.

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