Delhi the nation’s capital might be edging towards another lockdown. But this time, it isn’t related to COVID-19, it’s due to the dangerous state of air quality in the capital city. The Delhi Government closed schools and colleges indefinitely and also implemented work-from-home, while construction or demolition activities have been halted, according to a notice by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee.
Delhi’s Poor Air quality
According to the notice, last weekend in Delhi Air Quality Index, the (AQI) touched 471, which is way beyond the safe limit of 100.
Though a small percentage of pollution has come down due to which the AQI stands in the lower 400s, authorities said the AQI is likely to improve significantly from Sunday owing to relatively strong winds.
The AQI in neighboring cities was also recorded in the “very poor” category with Ghaziabad (346), Gurgaon (348), Noida (357), Greater Noida (320), and Faridabad (347)
Kejriwal government plan of lockdown
Arvind Kejriwal’s government is planning the idea of a weekend lockdown and is now waiting for India’s Supreme Court to decide on it. However, it is still unclear how long it would take for a lockdown to reduce pollution levels.
In recent years, the Delhi government has taken several steps to bring pollution levels down. Reports suggest, closing 11 coal-fired power plants within 200 miles of the city, the pollution checking of vehicles, and banning stubble burning for farmers are a few of those. But managing such vast pollution will take more effort and thus these steps have hardly been any effective.
Reason for the toxic ‘smog’ that chokes the city every year
Delhi is not only known for its old monuments but now also for its poor air quality as thick smog covers the city every year, making it hard to breathe. The main culprits of this toxic smog in the city are vehicles, dust, and industries. Though, blame can also be given to the smoke from crop-burning after the harvest.
Delhi is in the top 10 most polluting cities in the world, as per IQ Air, which tracks air quality data. Not to forget, the Kejriwal government’s break out the idea to introduce an odd-even method, to ply odd number plate care on odd dates and vice versa for even dates. But did that worked is still debatable.
Effects on Delhites on air pollution
Citizens say that current levels have become much more intolerable. Few residents of the Capital city complain about irritating eyes and cough. “My eyes are constantly irritated and I have an incurable cough right now,” said Sanjay Chadha, 57, a South Delhi resident “There is no way to keep the pollution out and not everyone can afford air purifiers.”
Even children are developing asthma-like symptoms and upper respiratory tract infections due to assault of hazardous pollution levels on their lungs, as warned by many Doctors in Delhi.
The ‘never-ending story’ of smog and pollution for Delhi
Every year as winter approaches, it comes as ‘déjà Vu’ for people living in Delhi. The morning skies take on an ominous grey color, complain of stuffy nose and itchy eyes, and hospitals start to fill up with people complaining of breathing difficulties. Expensive air purifiers, be on high sales. As the natural act of breathing becomes hazardous.
The Indian Supreme Court puts the state and federal governments into court, asking them their measures to do to clean up the air. But these measures are like stopping a gallon of water flow with your palm. They have been tried in the past and have made little difference to the city’s air in the long term. Experts believe cleaning up the air requires drastic measures that are not a priority for the country’s leaders.
So again time will tell the story will the lockdown of Delhi Government to work as a solution for pollution.