Delhi shows increased PM10 levels in 2020-21.

Mar 31, 2022 05:00 pm

PM10 are very small particles found in dust and smoke. They have a diameter of 10 micrometres (0.01 mm) or smaller. PM10 particles are a common air pollutant.

Delhi is among the 31 of the 132 non-attainment cities under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) which have shown an increase in the level of PM10 pollutant concentration in 2020-21, the government told Parliament on Thursday.

Responding to a query on the number of cities that have reported an improvement in air quality index (AQI) in the last two years out of the 132 non-attainment cities under NCAP, Minister of State for Environment Ashwini Choubey said 96 cities indicated a decrease in PM10 concentration and 31 cities showed an increase in the pollutant level.

"The ambient air quality data of Particulate Matter 10 or PM10 (size less than 10 micro metre) of 132 non-attainment/ metropolitan cities indicated a decrease in PM10 concentration in 96 cities, increase in PM10 concentration in 31 cities and no change in concentration in four cities in 2020-2021 as compared to 2019-2020," Choubey said in a written response.

Data of Faridabad was not available for comparison, he said.

Under the NCAP, launched in 2019 as a national-level strategy to reduce air pollution, Rs 423.21 crore have been sanctioned to non-attainment cities to initiate actions such as expansion of monitoring network, construction and demolition waste management facilities, non-motorised transport infrastructure, green buffers zone, use of mechanical street sweepers, composting units etc, the minister said.

According to the data, Delhi's PM10 level increased from 192 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) of air in 2019-20 to 193 ug/m3 in 2020-21.

Besides the national capital, the other 30 cities which showed an increase in PM10 level include Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Agra, Visakhapatnam, Guwahati, Jammu, Srinagar, Indore, Thane and Hyderabad.