The clampdown on all non-essential activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, from March 25 to June 8, led to a significant decline in air pollution levels for major cities across India. Continue reading on The Indian Express
The lockdown prompted by the Covid-19 outbreak from March 25 to June 8 helped to significantly reduce air pollution levels in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore, according to an analysis of the CPCB Air Quality Index data from the 74-day duration.
The four cities achieved 95 per cent of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) target set by the Centre, as per the analysis carried out jointly by CarbonCopy and Respirer Living Sciences.
In an attempt to ensure better air quality in cities, the NCAP was notified in January 2019 to reduce particulate matter (breathable pollutants that can easily enter the lungs and cause ailments) by 20-30 per cent by 2024. Over the course of the year, 122 non-attainment cities were added to this list and air pollution action plans were developed and approved for 102 of them.
“The lockdown period helped us understand the effects of anthropogenic (human-generated) emissions to our environment. All four cities managed to better their 2024 NCAP target by around 30 per cent, with Kolkata bettering their target by over 50 per cent during the lockdown. This period is a marker for policymakers on how they can achieve what has been planned for in the coming four years, in a relatively shorter period,” said Ronak Sutaria, CEO Respirer Living Sciences.