Rain over the past few days didn’t just bring down the mercury, but gave Delhiites a literal breather, with levels of air pollution dipping on Tuesday.
The air quality index (AQI) on Monday and Tuesday was “good”, as per the Union Earth Science Ministry’s SAFAR index.
Dr. Gufran Beig, project director of SAFAR, said that the AQI on Tuesday “was 82 and it was 89 on Monday. Anything below 100 is considered good”.
Not only has rain in the Capital cleaned up the air, but showers in neighbouring States over the last week have also kept the AQI in the “moderate” range.
“Even if it rains a few hundred kilometres away, it impacts air quality in Delhi as the long-distance winds blowing in are less loaded with pollutants. This is a typical phenomenon in the rainy season,” said Sunil Dahiya, a clear air campaigner with Greenpeace.
Cleaner air is likely to persist for the next few days with SAFAR forecasting “good” levels of PM2.5 and PM10.
On Wednesday, PM2.5 is expected to be around 51 micrograms per cubic metre, which is below the standard of 60.
With Delhi’s air quality reaching toxic highs in the winter, the monsoon brings with it some relief in the form of the few “good” air days the city gets each year. Last year, good air quality was observed only in July and August.
Experts say that even if it rains a few hundred kilometres away, it impacts air quality in Delhi