In a “big relief” for Delhi residents, the PM10 and PM2.5 levels have declined by an average of 45 per cent in the last 9 years, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said today.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting with officials of the environment department, Mr Rai said that work on a ‘winter action plan’ to tackle any rise in air pollution levels has begun.
The levels of particulate matter (PM) 10 and 2.5 usually start increasing from the last week of October and attain a peak in November when temperature plummets, requiring measures to check the poor quality of air, he added.
“There is news of big relief for Delhi’s people. The PM 10 and PM 2.5, which are two important parameters of air quality and determine the level of air pollution in Delhi, have registered a downward trend since 2014 due to efforts of Delhi’s people and the government,” the minister said.
However, the Delhi government under the leadership of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is determined to bring it further down, he said.
Citing data from past years, Mr Rai said that over the 9 years from 2014 to August 2023, the PM10 level has declined by 42 per cent. It was 324 in 2014, 295 in 2015, 303 in 2016, 277 in 2017, 277 in 2018, 230 in 2019, 187 in 2020, 221 in 2021, 223 in 2022 and it was 188 until August 2023, he said.
Similarly, the PM2.5 level has declined by 46 percent from 149 in 2014, 133 in 2015, 137 in 2016, 130 in 2017, 128 in 2018, 112 in 2019, 101 in 2020, 113 in 2021, 103 in 2022, and 81 till August 2023, the minister said while showing a chart.
He said the government on September 12 would hold a meeting of experts from 24 organisations associated with pollution mitigation and take their opinion for preparing the winter action plan.
Also, a meeting of 28 departments and agencies will be held on September 14 to seek their feedback on ways to tackle high levels of air pollution in the winter, Mr Rai added.
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