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Air quality improves due to lockdown 

  • IASbaba
  • April 4, 2020
  • 0
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Air quality improves due to lockdown 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Environment 

In News:

  • The ongoing lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic has pushed pollution levels in Delhi to a 5-year low
  • Across India, the number of cities that recorded ‘good’ on the air quality index jumped from 6 to 30 within a fortnight, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board.

Key takeaways:

  • Level of particulate matter, PM 2.5 – the most dangerous pollutant – also reduced
  • Overall, up to 44% reduction in PM10 levels was observed in Delhi. 

Important value additions:

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)

  • It is a statutory organisation under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Mo.E.F.C). 
  • It was established in 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of pollution) Act, 1974
  • It is also entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. 
  • It provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. 
  • It Co-ordinates the activities of the State Pollution Control Boards by providing technical assistance and guidance and also resolves disputes among them. 
  • It is the apex organisation in country in the field of pollution control. 

Air Quality Index (AQI) 

  • The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality. 
  • It tells how clean or polluted the air is. 
  • The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health Concern. 
  • Research studies have attributed the key sources of PM2.5 in summer to be: dust and construction activities (35%), transport sector (20%) and industry (20%).

Miscellaneous 

‘CARUNA’ initiative formed by Central Civil Services officers

  • Associations representing officers of Central Civil Services, including IAS and  IPS officers, have formed an initiative called ‘Caruna’ to support and supplement the government’s efforts in fighting coronavirus.
  • The acronym ‘Caruna’ stands for Civil Services Associations Reach to Support in Natural Disasters.
  • It represents a collaborative platform by civil servants, industry leaders, NGO professionals and IT professionals and many others. 

Operation Sanjeevani: IAF airlifts essential medicines to Maldives

  • An Indian Air Force (IAF) C-130J transport aircraft delivered essential medicines and hospital consumables to Maldives under Operation Sanjeevani.
  • This is the first such assistance by India in fight against COVID.

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