Delhi pollution: Vehicles contributed half of PM 2.5 around Diwali, says CSE

Delhi is among the country's most air-polluted cities and the situation worsens every year around Diwali and with the onset of winters. As per the latest assessment by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), vehicular emissions accounted for half of the PM 2.5 pollution from local sources in Delhi during the Diwali week between October 21 and October 26.

Commuters out in dense smog and pollution at Mandi House, in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, November 2, 2022. (Hindustan Times)
Commuters out in dense smog and pollution at Mandi House, in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday, November 2, 2022.

Usually, when pollution concentrations from all sources - Delhi's local, NCR and beyond - are added, the national capital's vehicles account for nearly 17 per cent of total PM2.5 pollutant concentration. However, during the said Diwali week, the pollution share contributed by local vehicles was 49.3 per cent and 53 per cent.

Also Read : Avoid private vehicles, work from home: Delhi govt's advise to fight pollution

Old bus Stand of Ghaziabad shrouded in smog amid increasing pollution levels in Delhi-NCR (HT)
Old bus Stand of Ghaziabad shrouded in smog amid increasing pollution levels in Delhi-NCR (HT)

Vehicular pollution was followed by household or residential pollution at 13 per cent and industries at 11 per cent. Next was pollution from construction at 7 per cent, waste burning and the energy sector at 5 per cent each, and road dust and other sources at 4 per cent each. "This observation is consistent with the trends evaluated during the previous winter in Delhi," principal programme manager at CSE's Clean Air and Sustainable Mobility unit Vivek Chattopadhyay, told PTI.

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As per the CSE assessment, due to high traffic on pre-Diwali days, the average speed of vehicles had gone down to 27 km per hour as compared to the design standard of 60 km per hour or regulated speed of 40 km per hour. On some stretches in the national capital, this even reduced to 17 km per hour. Thus, nitrogen dioxide from vehicles correlates well with traffic peaks and congestion.

The organization also pointed out that though vehicles became the “top polluter" in the city, action on transport remains "the weakest". It added that the transport sector needs to be electrified as well as public transport augmentation and integration is needed to help get the situation under control.

First Published Date: 03 Nov 2022, 13:38 PM IST
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