POLLUTION SPIKES IN DELHI (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     6th November 2023        

Context: According to an analysis by Delhi-based think tank, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the Particulate Matter (PM)2.5 concentration in Delhi saw a recent and alarming spike, with a sudden 68 percent increase within 24 hours on November 2, 2023, marking the first significant pollution surge of the winter season.

Key Points

  • “SAFAR’s estimate has shown that the percentage contribution of farm stubble fire to Delhi’s PM2.5 concentration had crossed 25 per cent on November 2.
  • SAFAR or System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research is a country-wide initiative by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, with an objective to provide location-specific information about air quality on a real-time basis.

  • The share of PM2.5 in PM10 is an important indicator of the impact of combustion sources.
  • NO2 or Nitrogen Dioxide levels are also rising in the region. NO2 largely comes from vehicles.

Air Quality Index

  • Air Quality Assessment: AQI is a tool for assessing the safety of the air you breathe.
  • Monitoring and Reporting: Organizations responsible for AQI reporting measure the concentration of 6 diverse air pollutants - Particulate matter (PM2. 5 and PM10), Ozone (O3), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Lead (Pb) and Ammonia (NH3)  at various monitoring stations.

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)

  • About: It is a not-for-profit public interest research and advocacy organisation based in New Delhi, India. Established in 1980, CSE works as a think tank on environment-development issues in India, poor planning, climate shifts devastating India's Sundarbans and advocates for policy changes and better implementation of the already existing policies.
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