New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) With no vehicles plying on the roads or industries coughing up smoke due to the nationwide lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak, the air quality of the national capital improved drastically on Friday.

The noxious grey smog has finally lifted, hence making it easier for people to breathe during the three-week ‘self-quarantining’ period.

The System of Air Quality and Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) showed the air quality index (AQI) in “good” category at various locations across the city. “Enjoy the day,” the advisory stated.

“The quality of air has improved due to reduced vehicular traffic and rise in temperature. The improvement also shows a clear relationship between human activity and pollution,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, who heads the regional meteorological centre at the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

Locals, who have been directed by the government to not barge out, were seen enjoying the clear weather and the gusty winds from the confines of their houses.

Scores of people also took to the micro-blogging website, Twitter, to express their happiness.

“AQI improves beyond anyone’s imagination. At least people will now realise that odd-even can work if we follow it,” wrote a women named Ashlin Mathew.

Another person wrote, “The pollution levels are so low that I can see the depth of blue in the sky right now.”

Besides the national capital, the quality of air in states where footfall of tourists is ample has also improved to the “satisfactory” category.

In Jaipur, the air quality index stood at 38, while in Shimla and Mumbai, it was at 66 and 95, respectively.

With the sudden lockdown across the country, the improved air quality emerged as a silver lining.




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