Time to breath easy is over, air pollution is reaching critical levels again this winter. Centre for Science and Environment has reviewed the daily air quality data generated by the Central Pollution Control Board as well as the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and the public information system developed by the CPCB and Aria technologies. Officially now air pollution in Delhi is classified into broad bands of healthy, moderate, unhealthy for sensitive groups, unhealthy, harmful, and hazardous. This is based on air quality index.
This public information system is expected to guide action on a daily. The review of the air pollution data exposes: Very rapid build up of air pollution since the month of October and several times higher than the rainy months of August. In addition to the high level of tiny particles of PM2.5, other pollutants are also rising, with daily peaks hitting unacceptable levels. Traffic woes further aggravates the pollution crisis. The daily air pollution levels double up during peak traffic time of the day.