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Delhi breathes better amid lockdown, pollution drops to record low

New Delhi reported a 61% decrease in PM2.5 levels over the corresponding period in 2019. The decrease seen in Pune was 54%, while it was 33% in Bengaluru and 53% in Ahmedabad, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board.

NEW DELHI: People across the country are breathing better as road and air traffic are at a standstill in the wake of the ongoing nationwide lockdown brought on by the Covid-19 virus outbreak.

Pollutant levels across cities have dropped between 20% and 60% between March 21 and April 20, said M. Rajeevan, secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

“Particulate matter started declining immediately after the implementation of the lockdown,” said Rajeevan.

With minimal road transport and no flights, the PM10 and PM2.5 levels were down 57% and 45%, respectively, in New Delhi over the same period last year.

Even though there was a slight uptick early in April due to harvesting of wheat, Rajeevan said that was normal. “From April 20, private vehicle movement started because of relaxation in lockdown, raising levels again,” he said.

New Delhi experienced its first “good” air days shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ..

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