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Only three days after the city saw its first day of good air quality in 2022, Delhi's air quality began to deteriorate. At 4 pm on September 19, the city's 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) was 182, according to data. On September 18, it was 119, on the previous day, 70, and on September 16, 47. Anand Vihar was the most polluted area in the capital with an AQI of 405 on September 18. The first "good" air quality day of the year was brought on by a prolonged period of light rain on September 16 in the capital.

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An AQI of zero to 50 is regarded as "excellent", 51 to 100 as "acceptable", 101 to 200 as "moderate", 201 to 300 as "poor", 301 to 400 as "extremely poor" and 401 to 500 as "severe". Air pollution levels that are “severe" can worsen asthma, impair lung function, and exacerbate lung illnesses.

Local pollutants were unable to disperse due to the convergence of easterly and westerly breezes, as per Mahesh Palawat, vice president (climate change and meteorology) - Skymet Weather. Pollutants accumulated in the morning due to calm winds. Around 9:15 am on September 20, Delhi's AQI was noted as being in the "moderate" (158) category.

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The transport industry was responsible for 14–22% of the PM2.5 pollution in Delhi on September 19, according to the Decision Support System of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. By September 21, it's probably going to increase by 33%.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai earlier said the city government will launch a 15-point action plan in September to fight air pollution in winter.

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The plan will focus on stubble management, dust pollution, vehicular emission, open burning of garbage, industrial pollution, green war room and Green Delhi application, pollution hotspots, real-time apportionment study, smog tower, e-waste parks, plantation, eco-farming, public participation, firecrackers and joint action with neighbouring states.

(With agency inputs)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sounak Mukhopadhyay

Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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