By: Kuni Isaac
Delhi the capital of India has been clouded with smog from air pollution endangering the health of the residents as small particles could be breathed in from this haze,
The incident occurred since the Diwali festival, Authorities in the capital, Delhi, have shut all schools and colleges indefinitely as the levels of air pollution have been rising.
Construction work has also been banned until 21 November, though transport and defense-related projects, alongside five of the 11 coal-based power plants in the city have been excluded.
Delhi government said it was mulling over a lockdown to improve air quality as dense clouds of smog engulfed the city. A mix of factors like vehicular and industrial emissions, dust and weather patterns make Delhi the world’s most polluted capital. The air turns especially toxic in winter months as farmers in neighboring states burn crop stubble. And fireworks during the festival of Diwali,
Which happens at the same time, only worsen the air quality. Low wind speed also plays a part as it traps the pollutants in the lower atmosphere
Delhi’s air quality index category was “very poor” according to SAFAR, India’s main environmental monitoring agency, and in many areas levels of the deadly particulate matter reached around six times the global safety threshold
Air quality in Delhi has been both “severe” and “hazardous” for several days now the pollution happens yearly but this year, the pollution has become so dire that it prompted a stern warning from India’s Supreme Court, which directed state and federal governments to take “imminent and emergency” measures to tackle the problem.
States have been encouraged to work from home for 50% in all private offices during the period to cut down vehicle emissions and dust levels.
India’s pollution levels are 10 times worse than those found anywhere else in the world” and, over time, these high levels have expanded to cover other parts of the country as well.
Delhi’s not the only affected city in the country, India as a whole dominates global pollution rankings and bad air kills more than a million people every year
Indians capable of buying air purifiers are limited leaving the country in a dire capable of causing cancer and cardiac problems.
Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s top elected leader said a complete lockdown of the city was likely but the decision would be taken after consultation with the federal government.
Indian Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav argued against a provision on phasing out coal, saying that developing countries were “entitled to the responsible use of fossil fuels.”
Many experts criticized this move. They worry it has weakened the final agreement and could also hamper India’s fight against climate change and worsening air quality.
“It is not at all desirable,” said Samrat Sengupta, the program director for climate change and energy at the Centre for Science and Environment think tank. But he also said India needed enough “carbon space”
Sengupta also stated that “Phasing out coal was impossible.
“In our country, this is the only means of livelihood for many. If the foreign countries say we should stop using coal, then what will we eat,” said Hari Ram, a coal trader.
Coal is an important part of india’s profits, the country as a whole depend on coal moreover India’s coal reserves have a high ash content that burns inefficiently and results in increased air pollution.
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