Delhi’s poor air quality
Part of: Prelims and GS III – Pollution
Context As per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, Delhi’s air quality entered the “severe” category recently for the first time this season after people in the city burst firecrackers on Deepavali night despite a blanket ban.
- The Capital registered its worst post-Deepavali air quality in five years. The AQI (air quality index) of Delhi this season is 533. In 2016, it was 445 around the same time. It was 368 in 2019.
- According to SAFAR, without any more firecracker emissions the AQI is likely to improve to “very poor” category by Saturday night.
What is System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)?
- It was indigenously developed by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune.
- It is run by India Meteorological Department (IMD).
- The objective is to provide Real-time air quality index on 24×7 basis with colour coding along with 72-hour advance weather forecast.
- Another goal is to issue health advisory to prepare citizens well in advance.
What is the National Air Quality Index?
- Launched in 2014 with outline ‘One Number – One Color -One Description’ for the common man to judge the air quality within his vicinity
- The measurement of air quality is based on eight pollutants: Particulate Matter (PM10), PM2.5, Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ozone (O3), Ammonia (NH3), and Lead (Pb).
- AQI has six categories of air quality: Good, Satisfactory, Moderately Polluted, Poor, Very Poor and Severe.
- It has been developed by the CPCB in consultation with IIT-Kanpur and an expert group comprising medical and air-quality professionals.