2023 – Air Quality Perspective in Delhi

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Air Pollution in New Delhi
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Azadi Ka Amrit Mahoutsav

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2023 – Air Quality Perspective in Delhi

By PIB Delhi

The Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM), since its inception in 2021, through a series of firm steps, has initiated various policy measures and field actions towards abatement of air pollution in Delhi-NCR. 

Continual and concerted efforts of all the stakeholders round the year also in 2023 have further helped to improve the general air quality parameters in Delhi as compared to the past few years (barring the periods of very low anthropogenic, industrial and commercial activities during the Covid affected year 2020, owing to complete lockdowns and other restrictions), pursuant to various preventive and mitigative field actions through numerous statutory directions and orders of the Commission, covering all major sectors contributing to the overall air quality.

 Comparative air quality related parameters for the years starting 2018 onwards follow as tabulated under:

Month-wise Daily Avg. AQI for Delhi

Month201820192020202120222023
January328328286324279311
February243242241288225237
March203184128223217170
April222211110202255179
May217221144144212171
June202189123147190130
July104134841108784
August111866410793116
September1129811678104108
October269234266173210219
November335312328377320373
December360337332336319348

Barring 2020, the year 2023 witnessed 4 months (March, April, June and July) with best ever daily average AQI and 3 months (January, February and May) with second best daily average AQI during the entire period from 2018 to 2023. 

      Daily Avg. AQI for Delhi during the entire year

Year201820192020 2021 20222023
Daily Avg. AQI225215185209 209204

     The average daily AQI for Delhi during the entire year 2023 has been the best so far since 2018 and even before that, barring 2020, which saw an exceptional AQI owing to continued spells of lockdown and low anthropogenic activities round the year. 

Comparative PM10 and PM2.5 Concentrations

     As per IMD data, comparative daily average Particulate Matter emission concentration (PM2.5 and PM10) values in Delhi read as under:

YearDaily avg. PM10 (µgm/m3)Daily avg. PM2.5 (µgm/m3)
2018242114
2019217108
2020*18094
2021210104
202221198
2023205100

    * Covid Year

The Year 2023 has thus witnessed the lowest ever recorded daily average values for PM10 and the second best PM2.5 concentrations, barring the Covid affected 2020 with lowest anthropogenic activities.  

Comparative AQI Category status for Delhi

AQI CategoryNo. of Days
201820192020202120222023201820192020202120222023
Good(0-50)025131159182227197163206
Satisfactory(51-100)535995726560
Moderate(101-200) 10612112712495145
Poor(201-300) 114103758013077186159124144196 144 
Very Poor(201-300) 725649646667
Severe401-450) 2019132061320241524615
Severe +>450052402

As per the CPCB criteria for the air quality category based on gradation of the daily average AQI, the year 2023 witnessed the best ever “Good to Moderate” AQI days , registering a mark of  more than 200 days (barring Covid affected 2020).

The number of days with Severe – Severe + AQI were 15 during 2023, which is also the second-best figure for the period between 2018 – 2023.

Comparative Delhi AQI around Diwali Festival

YearPre-Diwali DayDiwali DayPost-Diwali Day
2018338281390
2019287337368
2020339414435
2021314382462
2022259312302
2023220218358

The above tabulation indicates best ever AQI in Delhi around the Diwali festival in 2023.

     The year 2023 also witnessed much lower levels of episodic events like farm burnings during paddy harvesting season, bursting of crackers during religious festivals and marriages/celebrations etc.  However, the benefit attributable to the same in Delhi’s AQI, was nullified owing to much adverse climatic, meteorological, low temperature and calm wind conditions in the region, impeding effective dispersion of the pollutants and resulting in a spike in the daily average AQI during the winter months in particular.  Despite these factors, the overall daily average AQI during the year has been the best so far. 

     With persistent field level efforts and targeted policy initiatives for quantified results in the short/ medium/ long term, it is expected that air quality scenario over Delhi will see further gradual but marked improvement, year on year.

About Post Author

Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
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