New Delhi: As lockdown is lifted and things are getting back to normal, so is air pollution.
Experts say that clean air days in Delhi are getting over after the lifting of 68-day lockdown. However, with showers forecasted, pollutants could be washed away for the time being.
Delhi recorded “moderate” air quality days with AQI between 101-200 for a week since September 9. In August, there were four “good” air days with AQI less than 50 and 27 “satisfactory” days with AQI between 51 to 100.
“Rain has stopped. Wind speed has reduced. The accumulation of particles in the atmosphere is building up. There are possibly more vehicles (on the road) as services get unlocked. Suspended dust will start increasing as we approach winter,” Sachin D Ghude, a scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, was quoted by Hindustan Times.
The lockdown had reduced pollution levels and photographs of Himalayan peaks visible from northwestern plains had gone viral on social media.
Ahead is the crop stubble burning that is one of the prime causes of winter air pollution in northern India.
“There are multiple factors that lead to higher pollution levels, including emissions and meteorology. During the initial lockdown period, emissions from industries and vehicles had come down drastically. So, it improved the air quality. Thereafter, meteorology was also favourable; there were high winds,” said Prashant Gargava, member-secretary, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The CPCB mentions that there were no good air days in 2015, 2016 and 2018 in Delhi while 2019 saw two good air days on August 18 and 19.
This year, there have been five “good” air days so far.
Delhi saw several clear blue sky days this year and the reason for this is the absence of particles such as clouds, fog, pollutants and smoke. More the molecules in the atmosphere, more sunlight is scattered in all directions, and blue light gets more scattered as it travels in shorter waves, say experts.
There has been a deficit rainfall of 15 per cent this monsoon.