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Excluding 2020, Delhi Records Best AQI Since 2016: Is the Air Quality Improving?

Between January and May, Delhi recorded 74 days when the air quality was 'good', 'satisfactory,' or 'moderate'.

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The national capital recorded its best air quality this year between the months of January and May since 2016 — excluding the lockdown year of 2020.

This year, Delhi recorded the lowest average Air Quality Index (AQI) compared to the same period in the last seven years since 2016.

According to data collected by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), 2023, so far, has witnessed the lowest levels of daily average PM2.5 and PM10 concentration (with the exception of 2020), when compared to the same period in the last seven years.

Since January, 'good', 'satisfactory', and 'moderate' air quality was recorded on 74 days in Delhi, found the CPCB AQI data.

Compare this to the 37 days of good air quality the city had all of last year.

Between January and May, Delhi recorded 74 days when the air quality was 'good', 'satisfactory,' or 'moderate'.

Comparison of PM2.5 and PM10 recordings in the last 8 years.

(Source: Press Information Bureau)

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Air Quality, Heatwaves in Other Parts of India

After an unusually hot February, Delhi has been seeing sporadic rainfall and winds which, according to experts, could potentially have helped improve its air quality.

Delhi is predicted to keep seeing thunderstorms, and showers through the rest of the week according to the India Meteorological Department’s forecast.

Moreover, the national capital's AQI is predicted to remain in the ‘moderate’ category for a few more days.

The IMD has, however, warned of heatwave conditions in other parts of the country including Bihar, Gangetic West Bengal, and Sub-Himalayan West Bengal. In Mumbai, IMD has predicted continued clear sky and humidity.

Although Mumbai experienced high AQI levels earlier this year, as per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the AQI in Mumbai is currently in the 'satisfactory' category. The same goes for cities of Kolkata, Kanpur, Lucknow, and Chennai.

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