Delhi, which is slowly recovering from the deadly second wave of coronavirus, is yet to find a fix for the worsening air quality. A new report by Greenpeace India paints a grim picture of several states facing the brunt of air pollution despite successive-Covid induced lockdowns curbing movement and some industrial activity.
Among eight state capitals, Delhi had the worst breathable air with a massive spike of 125 per cent in Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) concentrations during April 2021 as compared to the corresponding month in 2020. While researchers took into account the weather changes, had it been more severe the pollution would have spiked by 146 per cent from 2020.
The report titled “behind the smokescreen” states that one year after initial Covid-19 lockdowns reduced air pollution in many Indian cities, NO2 pollution increased in India’s eight capital cities with more than 2 million citizens. The researchers have attributed the spike in pollution to industrial activity and transportation, calling for switching to cleaner sources of energy.