Delhi saw more polluted air in November 2020 than in 2019. Delhi's air pollution saw an uptick due to lesser rainfall and rampant stubble burning. A major factor was large-scale stubble burning due to early harvesting this year by farmers in the neighbouring states.
Punjab alone had witnessed 76,590 incidents of stubble burning this season, which were 55,210 in 2019. Maximum incidents of stubble burning were recorded between November 4 and November 7, according to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).
The air was more contaminated this year as it only rained one day in November compared to two and three days in November 2018 and 2019, respectively.
The national capital saw nine 'severe' AQI days in November while there were seven such days last year. In November 2018 and 2017, there were five 'severe' AQI days, according to CPCB data.
Delhi's average AQI for November stood at 'severe' category at 328 compared to 312 in 2019. Though the 30-day average AQI was lowest in 2019, it reached its peak in November 2016 at 374, stood at 361 in 2017 and 335 in 2018.
Pollution crossed the emergency level twice in November this year. Despite the ban on sale and use of firecrackers by the Delhi government and National Green Tribunal, pollution levels on Diwali and the day after were at its maximum in the last four years.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal with PTI inputs