CPCB data shows alarming rise in NO2 pollution levels in Delhi

 – Gudstory

CPCB data shows alarming rise in NO2 pollution levels in Delhi – Gudstory

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The capital city is battling high levels of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 pollution, while another pollutant, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), is also on the rise in Delhi, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.

NO2, which is mainly produced from vehicle emissions, indicates a persistent air quality problem due to vehicle pollution in Delhi. The city’s economic survey for 2022-23 reported a staggering 7,917,898 registered vehicles in Delhi, which includes traffic from Haryana’s Gurugram, Faridabad and Uttar Pradesh’s Noida and Ghaziabad, reports Hindustan Times.

Read this also Delhi-NCR pollution: BS-III, BS-IV diesel vehicles banned in Gurugram, Faridabad as AQI deteriorates

major pollution hotspots

Notably, the ITO traffic intersection, one of the busiest intersections in Delhi, is currently recording the highest NO2 levels in November, at an average of 191μg/m3, which is double the daily safe limit. It said Nehru Nagar stood second with 123 micrograms per cubic metre, and Okhla Phase-2 recorded an average NO2 concentration of 116µg/m3.

CPCB data indicates a sharp increase in Delhi’s average NO2 concentration in the first week of November, which has further increased due to calm air conditions since November 2.

The average NO2 concentration during this period was 54.7μg/m3, 47 percent higher than the previous month’s average of 37.3μg/m3. While the 24-hour concentration remains below the national standard of 80, the monthly average is more than double the World Health Organization (WHO) limit of 25μg/m3.

health implications

Experts warn that long-term exposure to high NO2 levels increases the risk of asthma and respiratory infections. Sunil Dahiya, an analyst at the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), told the newspaper that ongoing plans are needed at congested intersections where levels exceed standards.

Track our Delhi, NCR air pollution live updates here

Dahiya emphasized that NO2 levels are rising due to calm air conditions, preventing dispersion and accumulation near the surface, especially in traffic-congested areas. A similar trend was seen in October, when ITO recorded an average NO2 concentration of 102μg/m3.

The Center for Science and Environment (CSE) has recorded a 60 per cent increase in NO2 levels in Delhi compared to the first week of October, the report said. Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director of research and advocacy at CSE, told the newspaper that there is an urgent need to address vehicle pollution, especially in high-traffic areas. He stressed the need for local intervention for efficient traffic dispersion in pollution hotspots.

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Updated: 08 November 2023, 07:41 am IST

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