November air in Delhi, the most polluted in Six years

This year, there were 11 ‘severe’ air days in November, higher than nine last year, seven in 2019 and five in 2018.

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The average air quality index for the month of November this year has been the worst in six years, says the data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The AQI of November this year is 377. The analogue figure for 2020 was 327, while the air in November 2019 was also better and cleaner with an average AQI of 312. In 2018, the AQI for November was 334, while November 2017 was 360. For November 2016, it was 374, only a slight lower than this year’s figure. The average for 29 days of November 2015 was 358.

This year, there were 11 ‘severe’ air days in November, higher than nine last year, seven in 2019 and five in 2018.

October this year, the air was cleanest since 2018, with no “severe” or “very poor” air days.

Gufran Beig, founder project director, SAFAR, said that the air quality in November this year being the worst over the past few years can be attributed to the peak stubble burning season having been delayed by about a week due to the delayed withdrawal of the monsoon this year. Usually, the air quality gets bad in October and November, but this year, the worst was shifted to November, he said.

When the first set of emergency mitigation measures were announced on November 13 by the Delhi government, Delhi had already recorded six ‘severe’ air days from November 5 onwards. Schools remained closed from November 15 to 28, while government offices were asked to work from home for the same period. The ban on construction and demolition, imposed on November 14, was briefly lifted on November 22, but re-imposed till further orders by the Supreme Court on November 24.

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