Union Ministry of Environment on announced to launch National Air Quality Index in April 2015. The National Air Quality Index is a simple, composite, and easy to understand measure of air quality.
The index will measure the eight major pollutants that impact health – particulate matter (PM 10 and PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, ammonia and lead – and disseminate information on associated health risks through a colour-coded easy to identify format.
Each colour will indicate a level of the index. There are six levels: Good, Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor and Severe.
Pollution monitoring stations would be set up on 66 cities having population of 10 lakh or more. At present there are 46 stations with continuous monitoring capabilities in 16 cities.
The launch of the index will be an important step towards creating greater awareness among people about the true nature of the city’s air quality. The level of pollutants in the air of Delhi exceeds the limits set by the World Health Organization.