Pollution dips this winter in Delhi, favourable weather, fewer trucks helped
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Pollution dips this winter in Delhi, favourable weather, fewer trucks helped

December 2015 saw 25 per cent severely polluted days as opposed to 16 per cent in December 2016.

The period between October and January saw better air quality this year as compared to the last, as per analysis of data made available by the National Air Quality Index (NAQI). Favourable weather conditions, a 20 per cent reduction in the number of trucks entering Delhi, and emergency pollution-control measures could be behind the reduction, experts say.

Defying SC ban, Jallikattu held in Madurai village According to the municipal corporation toll operator, since the imposition of a higher environment compensation charge on trucks, and a ban on trucks only passing through Delhi, was imposed in late 2015, the number of trucks entering the capital has dropped to 20 per cent.

Ajay Aggarwal, an operator, said the number of trucks entering Delhi fell by another 10 per cent after demonetisation. The Indian Express analysed data of the R K Puram station for October-January 2015-16 and October-January 2016-17.

There were more severely polluted days between October and January 2015-16. In November 2015, air quality was “severely polluted” in 46 per cent of all days that the NAQI recorded. In 2016, this figure was 38 per cent, despite a steep rise in pollution after Diwali last year.

December 2015 saw 25 per cent severely polluted days as opposed to 16 per cent in December 2016.

The biggest difference, however, is seen in the pollution figures in January (until January 13). In January 2016, when the first phase of the odd-even road restriction kicked in with an aim to control rising pollution, 67% of the 13 days were severely polluted.

This year, there were no severely polluted days for the same period. While 46 per cent of the days saw very polluted air, the same saw poor quality air. The remaining 8 per cent of the days were moderately polluted.

According to the data, October was the only month where 2015 was less polluted than 2016.

After pollution spiked post-Diwali, the Delhi government announced a slew of measures to control pollution. This included a ban on construction activity, decreasing the time that trucks are allowed to ply in the city, and shutting the Badarpur power plant.

“The weather has been very favourable this year. The mixing height is much higher. The pollution-control measures may have also had an impact. According to our analysis, air quality till October 2016 was much better than the previous three years. From late October till mid-November, however, we saw very high levels of pollution post-Diwali. If we look at absolute figures, this peak in pollution washes away the gains,” said MP George, scientist at Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s air lab.

Source: indianexpress

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