One of the few good things that came out of the lockdown was the improvement in the air quality of Delhi, which was at its best during this period. But, it seems like the luxury to breathe in clean air was only short-lived, as once again the quality has started deteriorating, as people have returned to their normal routines amid the ongoing Unlock. By Amitha Ameen

 

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Just when the air quality in Delhi was beginning to get better after years, during the nationwide lockdown, thanks to the Unlock, its back to its normal self, and once again the people of the national capital can be seen gasping for breath.

As soon as the government lifted the restrictions and permitted work to get back to normal, the reopening of public places, and the stepping out of humans, once again brought back traffic on the roads, which led to decline in the Air Quality Index (AQI).

 

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Earlier, private firms offered work-from-home to employees, schools and colleges were suspended, public places like cinema halls, gyms, and restaurants were shut and the lockdown meant little to no vehicular movement. All of this had resulted in lesser emissions, culminating in a major drop in the AQI level.

 

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Now, once again, the air quality in Delhi has turned with the capital crossing the 300-mark and reaching the extreme end of ‘poor’ on the AQI scale. On Tuesday, the air quality in Delhi reached ‘very poor’ with a reading of 304. And, as of Wednesday noon it was at the ‘very unhealthy’ mark with a 209 reading, according to aqicn.org.

 

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Last year, Delhi had become the most polluted city in the world after its AQI had crossed the 1000-mark and had slipped into the hazardous category.

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