This is not for the first time, this is not something new! Remember the capital city’s ordeal when it was engulfed in toxic smog during the same time last year? Well, the issue is haunting us again.
“Despite a ban, there have been several cases of crop burning in Haryana, adding to Delhi’s pollution levels. The level is said to be 10 times higher than the safety limits set by the World Health Organisation (WHO),” says Sanjay Dalmia, a leading Delhi-based industrialist and philanthropist.
Reports say the air is polluted beyond the permissible limit. Sanjay Dalmia says that it is pitiable that Delhiites have to bear the continual exposure to this toxic air, which is equivalent to smoking more than two packs of cigarettes!
Describing the current situation in Delhi as a “public health emergency state”, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has issued a stern warning on potential health hazards. It has resulted in a significant increase in the number of people facing pollution-related health ailments. This is said to be the worst scenario in the past 17 years.
The NGT has highly criticized the Delhi government, blaming it for the current situation. “You’ve made a mess of Delhi. You have done what you had to, now we will decide what you have to do. Why didn’t you issue any direction for shutting down polluting industries and construction? You did it yesterday, as we told you to do so. Go to the hospital see number of patients that are being admitted,” it said.
As per a survey of 1,600 world cities conducted by the World Health Organization, the quality of air in Delhi is worse than all the major cities across the globe. Also, the air quality index (AQI) has already shot past 400 in many places in Delhi. Sanjay Dalmia is apprehensive of the fact that a major decrease in AQI comes with a warning that people are vulnerable to develop respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.
“The situation can become worse and conditions deteriorate as we are in accumulation phase of dust particle due to no winds in the region,” said D Saha, head air quality, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). “Things may improve by Saturday,” he said.
Concerned over the deteriorating air quality in Delhi and the National Capital Region, Sanjay Dalmia advises the people to stay indoors for respite from the prevailing condition. He further emphasizes the dire need to ensure that there is no burning of waste in Delhi-NCR.
Certainly, the plight of the city calls for an immediate action. The government is doing is its bit, the rest is upon us. On that note, let’s hope we don’t get to see this toxic blanket of smog in Delhi in the years to come.