Almost every winter, for the past several years now, the residents of Delhi brace themselves. Not for chilly winds or icy shivers but for brown tinted muddy air and breathing disorders. This year is no different. If you are waking up with a severe cough and burning eyes, it is because Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) has breached the threshold of hazardous to enter the “severe” category. The AQI stands at 451 on a scale where the maximum is 500 and where anything above 100 is considered unhealthy. Delhi air pollution has reached new heights and the chief minister himself has equated Delhi to a ‘Gas Chamber’, slowly killing its residents with poisonous pollutants.
Causes of Air Pollution
Around Diwali, we published a blog post about the air pollution levels in Delhi, detailing the factors behind Delhi’s meteoric rise on the list of most polluted cities in the world. In a nutshell, the main factors are:
- Paddy field burning in Punjab and Haryana
- Dust from construction sites
- Industries and Power Plant emissions in and around Delhi
- Vehicular emissions
- Burning of Waste
- Diesel Generator Sets
Actions taken to Mediate Air Pollution
Two days before Diwali, Delhi air quality entered the red zone. We talked about the measures being undertaken to improve the air quality situation here.
The Environmental Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) developed a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to wrestle with air pollution and some of the measures included:
- Banning Diesel generate Sets in Delhi
- Closing down Badarpur thermal power plant
The government said that it would adopt more measures if the situation got worse. Well, the situation has now gotten much worse.
Current Air Pollution Scenario in Delhi
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has declared a ‘public health emergency’. Arvind Kumar, chairman for chest surgery at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has said that breathing Delhi air is like smoking 50 cigarettes a day. Some of the consequences of our current quagmire are:
- IMA has called for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon to be cancelled
- Government has shut down junior schools today and they may remain closed tomorrow as well
- Health advisories recommend we should stay indoors and not follow the age old pearls of wisdom around morning walks and outdoor yoga
- In Haryana, schools will start at 9:00AM till the end of November
- Supreme court appointed panel has recommended increasing parking fees four fold and slashing metro fares to reduce vehicular pollution
What Can You Do?
The above measures might save us from severe respiratory problems this year. But what about next year? And the year after? Delhi air pollution is not a problem that will go away if we throw last minute temporary measures at it. It is a monster here to stay unless we showcase a united front. The government needs to introduce several policies to nip air pollution at the bud. But we too can undertake certain measures to help.
Take a minute and evaluate your day. Is there anything you can do differently that can directly or indirectly help reduce air pollution?
One way we can think of is the following. Harness your energy needs from the sun. Do not rely on dirty and polluting thermal power plants that poison the air you breathe. Solar energy not only helps you fight air pollution but is also a sound investment that can enable you to make money from the sun. Go Solar! Simply fill out the form below or click here or call +91-920-569-5690 and we’ll do the rest: