Delhi Sees Best Ever Air Quality In First Half Of 2023 In 8 years: Environment Ministry

The Environment Ministry said on Friday (June 30) that Delhi had the most ‘good to moderate’ air quality days in the first half of 2023, with 101 such days in the previous eight years, with the exception of the Covid-19-impacted year of 2020. According to the ministry, improved air quality was achieved this year as a result of favourable meteorological conditions and ongoing ground-level efforts to prevent, control, and abate air pollution in the region.

“The number of ‘Good to Moderate’ Air Quality Days for the first half-year period (January to June) was 30 in 2016; 57 in 2017; 65 in 2018; 78 in 2019; 126 in 2020; 84 in 2021; 54 in 2022; and 101 in the current year 2023,” the ministry said in a statement.

During this time, the city also had the fewest number of days with ‘poor to severe’ air quality in 2023, compared to the previous seven years (except for 2020, which was a lockdown due to coronavirus).

“The number of ‘Poor to Severe’ Air Quality Days for the first half-year period (January to June) have also been progressively reducing from 147 in 2016 to 80 in 2023,” the ministry said.

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The ongoing strict monitoring and enforcement actions by various stakeholder agencies result in better implementation of air pollution control measures, according to the ministry. During this time, the average AQI (air quality index) for Delhi remained in the ‘moderate’ category, that is, less than 200.

The statement added that Delhi had the lowest average AQI during the current year (January-June) compared to the corresponding period for the previous seven years, beginning in 2016 (barring 2020).

According to the ministry, this improvement represents a significant reduction in air pollutants, with lower levels of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and other harmful emissions.

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