Gone with the wind: Feb air cleanest since 2020

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Gurgaon: This Feb logged the best air quality since 2020, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. The city’s average air quality index (AQI) in Feb was 201 (poor), down from 228 (poor) during the same period last year. The average index for the month was 237 in 2020, 226 in 2021 and 212 in 2022.
According to experts, the region witnessed a rise in wind speed, frequent change in wind direction and weaker western disturbances this Feb, which led to better dispersion of pollutants in the atmosphere.
The city, however, hasn’t witnessed any ‘satisfactory’ or ‘good’ air days this Feb, the same for the last three years. “The average wind speed was 15 km/hour this Feb, which was not the case in the past few years. Earlier, it was less than 8 km/hour. Also, the wind direction was easterly instead of northerly, which is why the air was cleaner,” said Shubhansh Tiwari, a research associate at Centre for Science and Environment.
Though the AQI showed slight improvement this Feb, experts pointed out that the PM 2.5 levels have been on the higher side. “The city witnessed a five-day spell of ‘very poor’ PM2.5 levels ranging from 121-250 µg/m3 last month, with only three ‘satisfactory’ days. This highlights a pressing concern. The average concentration stands at 1.5 times the daily National Ambient Air Quality Standards and a staggering six times higher than WHO safe levels,” said Sunil Dahiya, analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.
Meanwhile, Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) officials said the suspension of road dust due to vehicular traffic and waste burning are of special concern in the city. “Over the years, highly polluting industries have moved out of NCR, we have changed rules regarding DG sets, and put a ban on biomass burning. These have shown results, but we still need to strengthen the public transportation system and control construction and demolition waste and road dust,” said an HSPCB officer.
Thursday’s air quality index (AQI) slightly deteriorated but remained in the ‘moderate’ range at 145 on Thursday, from 142 the day before.
Every year, Delhi-NCR witnesses heavy smog and deterioration of air quality levels during winter. The Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) is implemented every year as a result.

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Credit Source – https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/gone-with-the-wind-feb-air-cleanest-since-2020-in-gurgaon/articleshow/108122529.cms

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