India’s capital has breathable air for the first time in 10 months

The Capital of India has been plagued with numerous issues — water scarcity, electricity shortage, possible metro strike — but the most dire of them is its losing battle with pollution. Now, after almost an entire year, the pre-monsoon showers not only brought citizens of Delhi much-needed respite from the unbearable heat, but it also brought with it clean air.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 83 today, which is deemed ‘satisfactory’ and things are slated to get better when the actual monsoons arrive on Friday, hopefully. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the last time the air quality was this clean was in August 2017.

As far as levels go, an AQI between 0-50 is considered ‘Good’, 51-100 ‘Satisfactory, 101-200 ‘Moderate’, 201-300 ‘Poor’, 301-400 ‘Very Poor’, and 401-500 ‘Severe’.

A Central Pollution Control Board official told the Press Trust of India that the winds accompanying the rains managed to clean up the dusty air and he also anticipates that the level may just reach the ‘good’ category.

And while Delhi’s collective sigh of relief is perhaps justified, the city in all probability will pivot back to ‘severe’ or even the ‘severe plus’ categories, which has sadly become all too common.

Delhi’s pollution levels have been so abysmal this past year that it earned the not-so-coveted spot of being the world’s most polluted megacity, according to the World Health Organisation. In fact, there were a number of days last year when the AQI was a staggering 999, which is the highest the monitoring machine can read.