Delhi, India’s capital, has been struggling with increasingly deadly levels of air pollution for the last few years but this year, the smog has risen to alarming proportions.
The smog in Delhi is currently at over 90 times the prescribed “safe” levels of PM2.5, the lung-clogging tiny particles, this year due to which a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Anand Kejriwal announced a number or preventive measures to reduce exposure to the increasing levels of pollution.
Kejriwal announced that 1800 municipal schools will remain closed for 3 days to keep children safe. He also advised people to avoid going outside into open air as much as possible for the next couple of days.
The smog, which intensifies in the winter months as humidity levels drop down, was aggravated this year due to the Hindu Festival of Diwali during which fireworks are used extensively to celebrate. The resulting soot ended up worsening the situation this year.
In addition to Delhi, parts of Pakistani Punjab have also been affected by this phenomenon this year.
The burning of agricultural waste, rising vehicle pollution and the burning of rubbish by the poor to keep themselves warm are some of the main culprits behind the problem which returns to haunt Delhi citizens each year.
#Myrighttobreathe has been trending in the social media circles in India as citizens voice their concerns regarding the problem which could make Delhi a direct competitor with Beijing for the unwanted title of being the most “Polluted” city on Earth.
The Government announced a number of measures to neutralize the smog issue in the upcoming years including closing down the Badarpur Power Plant which runs on coal. Streets will be sprayed with water mist to bring the dust in the air down, as announced by the concerned authorities.
For the next five days, all kinds of construction and demolition work, which also contribute towards increasing dust in the environment, will not proceed.