- Union Environment Minister has said that that air quality in Delhi-NCR has improved. The number of “poor” air quality days have decreased from 300 in 2014 to 206 in 2018. Further, the number of days with ‘moderate’ to ‘good’ air quality has increased from 108 in 2016 to 159 in 2018.
- An Air Quality Index (AQI) between 0 and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’
- The AQI classifies air quality of a day considering criteria pollutants through colour codes and air quality descriptor. Further, it also links air quality with likely human health impacts.
- The index measures eight major pollutants, namely, particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5), nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, ammonia and lead.
- In Delhi-NCR, the government has taken number of steps to combat the rising menace of air pollution.
- The Union environment Ministry has notified Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for the NCR. Under GRAP, there are 4 stages of pollution – Moderate to Poor, Very Poor, Severe and Severe+ or Emergency and action are listed that need to be undertaken as the levels are breached.
- Further, a Comprehensive Action Plan (CAP) has been put forward. CAP lists medium and long-term actions for all pollution sources for Delhi and NCR.
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