Life in Gurgaon

Gurugram’s air improves to ‘poor’ from ‘very poor’ after light rain on Monday

Source: Hindustan Times

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The concentration of deadly particles (PM2.5) in Gurugram’s air on Monday dipped to 83.4 ug/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter of air) from 151.56ug/m3 on Sunday, following light rain. However, it still remained above the prescribed daily average safe limit of 60ug/m3, according to the CPCB’s National Ambient Air Quality standards.

A Global Burden of Disease report published last year estimated that 1.1 million deaths in India were linked to PM 2.5 air pollution in 2015. Air pollution-linked deaths in India could increase to 3.6 million by 2050 if no further actions are taken, according to a report published by the Health Effects Institute and Indian Institute of Technology- Bombay this year.

The improvement in the PM2.5 levels was also reflected in the CPCB’s Air Quality Index bulletin. Gurugram’s score was 215, putting city air in the ‘poor’ category, down from Sunday’s 321, which classifies air quality as ‘very poor’. Gurugram was the only city (of the 62 included in the AQI list) to be slotted in this category on Sunday, whereas New Delhi, Faridabad and Noida all had ‘poor’ air.

The dip in level of PM2.5 pollutants can be attributed to light showers which precipitated over the city on Monday morning and evening, according to Dipankar Saha, former head of the CPCB’s Air Quality Lab in Delhi. “With lowered wind speeds and temperatures prevailing at the moment, pollutants will remain trapped in the air unless there is rainfall to wash them out of the atmosphere,” Saha said.

With the city likely to receive light to moderate rainfall throughout the week , as predicted by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the concentration of pollutants will likely reduce further in the next few days. “Tuesday will see a generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of showers. The situation is likely to continue till at least Friday,” said an IMD spokesperson.

The maximum temperature on Tuesday is expected to be 30 degrees Celsius and the minimum temperature is expected to be 26 degrees Celsius, as per the IMD. The maximum temperature will stay around 31 degrees Celsius the rest of the week.

Monday saw very light spells of rain in the evening, however, the maximum temperature could not be recorded by the IMD due to a system failure.

PM2.5 is linked to heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, lung cancer among adults and upper respiratory tract illnesses in children. Close to 15,000 people died prematurely in Delhi in 2016 from illnesses linked to fine particulate matter pollution, according to a study by researchers from India, Singapore and Thailand that assessed pollution-related deaths in 13 megacities in south Asia and China.