Pollution levels moderate during CWG, finds study

The air pollution level was within the permissible limits most of the time during CWG.

New Delhi: The air pollution level was within the permissible limits most of the time during the Commonwealth Games (CWG) but levels of particulate matter fluctuated during peak traffic hours, says a study of the ministry of earth sciences released Thursday.

Preliminary scientific evaluation of data generated from air forecasting model as well as from the dense network of pollution monitoring stations in Delhi by a team of scientists found that the air quality levels were not as bad as speculated by some quarters prior to the Games period.

The scientists studied the air pollution levels during the months September-October. The Games were held Oct 3-14.

"It is seen that the air quality in Delhi from the month of September until now has hardly touched the `very poor` category," said Gufran Beig, scientist from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, who led the team.

"The overall assessment of air quality during September-October 2010 revealed that majority of gaseous pollutants were mainly in good range, sometime crossing moderate ranges in some venues during peak traffic hours," Beig said.

The air quality related to particulate matters (PM-2.5 and PM-10) was fluctuating between moderate to poor range at all the 11 monitoring sites in the capital.

After the Games, the overall air quality slightly deteriorated, especially for particulate matters (in particular PM10) but mainly remained in the poor category.

Beig attributed the poor levels of particulate matter to windblown dust from paved and unpaved roads and construction activities.