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Coronavirus lockdown | Delhi, Mumbai see 40-50% fall in air pollution

Comparing the time frame from last year the dates from January 1 to March 24 and March 25 (First day of lockdown in India) to April 20 show averaged nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations over India.

April 27, 2020 / 09:39 AM IST
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According to the data received from the European Space Agency (ESA), Delhi and Mumbai - among other major cities in India - see around 40-50 percent fall in pollution level. This positive effect on air quality across the country is due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown in India.

A comparison between the time frame from January 1 to March 24 and March 25 (first day of lockdown in India) to April 20 with those of 2019 shows averaged nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations over India.

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Claus Zehner, ESA's Copernicus Sentinel-5P mission manager, gave credit to Tropomi instrument on the Sentinel-5P satellite and with the help of this high air quality reduction can be observed in concentrations in Europe, China and India.

Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station, which is the biggest power plant station as compared to last year saw around 15 percent fall in air pollution. Interesting in these new maps are the high values of NO2 concentration in northeast India.


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According to Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s director of earth observation programmes, from the last year there is a faint trail of NO2 emissions left in the atmosphere of maritime across the Indian Ocean. The shipping lanes appear as a straight line because the ships follow more or less the exact same route.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), data shows because of air pollution, around 70 lakh people across the globe lose their lives every year.

Indian cities make up six out of the world's most-polluted areas. Delhi, with its annual PM2.5 level nearly 10 times the World Health Organization (WHO) target, is the most polluted capital city in the world for the second time in a row, according to the 2019 World Air Quality Report from IQAir.

Ghaziabad is the most-polluted city in the world, as per IQAir while Delhi stands at number five.

Nitrogen dioxide is usually emitted into the atmosphere as a result from power plants, Industrial facilities and vehicles.

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Faizan Javed
first published: Apr 27, 2020 09:36 am
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