According to the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the measures against COVID-19 have led to a drop in PM2.5 (fine particulate pollutant) by 30% in Delhi and by 15% in Ahmedabad and Pune, respectively.


  1. With a nationwide lockdown in place, over 90 cities, including Delhi, recorded minimal air pollution in the last few days.

  2. India is currently under the biggest lockdown with around 130 crore people asked to stay home in view of the COVID-19 outbreak. The government has urged people to avoid unnecessary travel, significantly reducing the traffic movement across the country.

  3. The level of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) pollution, which can increase the risk of respiratory conditions, has also reduced. NOx pollution is mainly caused due to a high motor vehicle traffic.

Important Info : System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)?

  • Agencies involved: It was indigenously developed by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune and is run by India Meteorological Department (IMD).

  • Objective: To provide Real-time air quality index on 24x7 basis with colour coding along with 72-hour advance weather forecast; To issue Health advisory to prepare citizens well in advance.

  • Parameters monitored:

  • Pollutants: PM1, PM2.5, PM10, Ozone, CO, NOx (NO, NO2), SO2, BC, Methane (CH4), Non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), Black Carbon, VOC’s, Benzene and Mercury.

  • Meteorological Parameters: UV Radiation, Rainfall, Temperature, Humidity, Wind speed, Wind direction, solar radiation.

Source : The Hindu

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