The improving trend in the overall air quality in Delhi-NCR continues and for the period between January – August during the year, Delhi registers its best ever average air quality during the last 8 years i.e., from 2016 to 2023 (barring the COVID affected 2020).
The daily avg. AQI for Delhi during the above noted period during the current year has been recorded as 174 as against 194 in 2022, 192 in 2021, 147 in 2020, 199 in 2019, 203 in 2018, 203 in 2017 and 236 in 2016 respectively, during the corresponding period.
An overall daily average AQI level of below 200 for the period from January ‑ August has been observed only during 2021 onwards, with the lowest being 174 in 2023 (barring the COVID affected 2020).
AQI is greatly impacted by the levels of rainfall/ precipitation and wind speed. The month of August 2023 has been one of the driest, with a rain deficit of about 30% over the normal in the entire country and a significant deficit also in Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan of more than 50% over normal. Strong dust storm activities occurred during 26th and 28th August also led to transient increase in PM10 concentrations. Despite this scenario, the daily average AQI for all 31 days in the month of August remained in “Satisfactory – Moderate” air quality category.
Delhi witnessed highest number of days (163) with “Good” to “Moderate” air quality (Daily Average AQI<200) during January – August 2023 as compared to the corresponding period for last 5 years (barring the COVID affected 2020).
“Good” to “Moderate” air quality days during this period in the previous years were only 116 in 2022, 144 in 2021, 135 in 2019 and 123 in 2018 respectively.
This period in 2023 has also witnessed a remarkable reduction in daily avg. PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations over the last 6 years.
The period during January-August in 2023 has recorded daily average PM2.5 concentrations of about 77 µgm/m3 as against ranging from 85-97 µgm/m3 during the corresponding periods from 2017 to 2022 (barring the COVID affected 2020).
Likewise, the daily average PM10 concentration in Delhi has been about 176 µgm/m3, which is remarkably lower than a range of 201-226 µgm/m3 during the corresponding periods from 2017 to 2022 (barring the COVID affected 2020).
Favourable meteorological conditions, continual ground level efforts, actions by various stakeholder agencies to abate air pollution and ongoing monitoring and enforcement actions have helped to better air quality during 2023.