New Delhi, India, January 28, 2021: A research study in Delhi NCR (the national capital region of India) during the pandemic observes an average of 30% drop in air pollution during the lockdown, as compared to the previous years for the same period. Commissioned by Manas Fuloria (Custodian of Entrepreneurship, Nagarro) and Namita Gupta (founder, Airveda), the project aims to critique and propose actionable tasks to check pollution levels in the region.
The project is titled Analysing Pollution Levels in Delhi NCR During the COVID-19 Lockdown. The team, comprising Anmol Dureha, Bhairevi Aiyer, Gursehaj Aneja and Pranav Suri, analyses five pollutants (Particulate Matter 2.5, Particulate Matter 10, Nitrogen Oxides, Ozone, and Carbon Monoxide) from data collected by the pollution-monitoring stations at different locations across Delhi NCR.
In India, the lockdown was in four phases with different levels of restrictions on economic activities. The air pollution data collected for the corresponding phases present interesting trends and patterns.
Change in pollutant levels across lockdown-phases (2020)
The study summarizes the key takeaways as below:
- The lockdown provided a controlled environment to analyze air pollution in Delhi NCR. Though it was difficult to classify singular sources of pollution, the study establishes that air quality and economic activities are inversely related.
- The drop in air pollution was more than 50% during the first phase of lockdown (compared to the previous years). On average, the drop was about 30% across the four phases. This shows that air quality can improve under strict controls of economic activities.
- The report shows that air pollution is not just in winters but throughout the year. Domestic activities like biomass burning for cooking and stubble burning add to the problem.
- Even with reduced economic activities, the pollution levels took 2-7 days to reach the minimum value of good range (according to pollution control standards). Given this observation, the report recommends long-term solutions instead of one-off events.
- Delhi NCR did not meet the air pollution threshold set by WHO (10 μg/m3) or the Indian government (30 μg/m3) during the lockdown. The bottom line is that we are at an environmental tipping point. The authorities may have to tackle more than the usual suspects like the industrial and vehicular emissions, and construction dust.
Want to understand more about air pollution in Delhi NCR and actionable steps that can improve air quality? Read the report here.
Nagarro (FRA: NA9) is a global digital engineering leader with a full-service offering, including digital product engineering, digital commerce, customer experience, AI and ML-based solutions, cloud, immersive technologies, IoT solutions, and consulting on next-generation ERP. Nagarro helps clients to become innovative, digital-first companies through an entrepreneurial, agile, and CARING mindset, and delivers on its promise of thinking breakthroughs. The company employs over 8,400 people in 25 countries. For more information, visit www.nagarro.com.
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Airveda offers app-enabled air quality monitors designed and manufactured in India. The company also collaborates with researchers and urban planners to develop innovative solutions to curb air pollution in the country. For more information, visit www.airveda.com.