Delhi recorded its lowest pollution levels since October last year on Tuesday after heavy rains and fast winds washed away the pollutants and cleansed the air, bringing the air quality in the 'satisfactory' category, authorities said.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, the overall air quality index (AQI) in the city was 98, which falls in the 'satisfactory' category.
This is the first time since October last year that the air quality has been recorded in the 'satisfactory' category. It is also the city's best AQI of this year, the CPCB data showed.
Delhi has been battling hazardous pollution levels for the past few months and for the last one month the air quality has been oscillating between 'very poor' and 'severe' categories.
An AQI between 100 and 200 comes under 'moderate' category, 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', while that between 401 and 500 is 'severe'.
On Tuesday, the overall PM2.5 level -- fine particulate matters in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers -- in Delhi was 52, while the PM10 level was 74, the CPCB said.
Twenty-two areas recorded 'satisfactory' air quality while it was 'moderate' in 12 areas, it said.
Authorities said heavy rains in Delhi-NCR had led to the drastic drop in pollution levels.
The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) said the overall air quality over Delhi has improved significantly to 'satisfactory' category for the second time during the past four months.
"The last one (improvement) was on October 12 when AQI was 'satisfactory'. The last night's rainfall along with sufficient wind speed was enough to wash away air pollutants. More than the rainfall, it is faster winds which cleaned up Delhi air significantly since yesterday," it said.
"Although the impact of rain will last for some time, the AQI is predicted to increase slightly to 'moderate' by tomorrow. The air quality will remain in 'moderate' to 'poor' range for next three days," it said.