NEW DELHI: Delhiites breathed the cleanest air this week, with monsoon winds washing away the dust and bringing the air quality in the satisfactory level for the first time in nearly a year, authorities said. The south-west monsoon hit the city this week with light rain on Monday and heavy showers yesterday, bringing respite not only from the scorching heat but also from the pollution which had peaked to unexpected levels this month.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) value for the capital was a "satisfactory" 83 today. It touched this level on Wednesday after the heavy pre-monsoon showers, according to the Central Pollution Control Board data.
An Air Quality Index (AQI) between 0-50 is considered "Good", 51-100 "Satisfactory", 101-200 "Moderate", 201-300 "Poor", 301-400 "Very Poor", and 401-500 "Severe".
The last time Delhiites breathed such clean air was in August last year, an official with the Central Pollution Control Board said.
"The air quality will further improve tomorrow and in the coming days. The monsoon winds cleaned the dusty air and brought the air quality to the satisfactory level," said Gufran Beig, a scientist at the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research Institute (SAFAR).
The air quality might even touch even 'good' level in the coming days, he added.
There was a dip in the air quality level on June 13 due to dust storms in western India that pushed the air quality level to "severe plus," bringing to light that emergency level pollution could be a "summer-time problem" too.