Welcome to India, the fast growing economy that is paying a price for the same in the form of the health of its kids and citizen. Want to know where our cities range in top pollution ranks? Well the Capital is truly the capital in terms of pollution levels. So let’s talk about the reasons behind this situation.
From PM10 to PM2.5 real quick!
Apparently, the reasons behind it are many – We can certainly say that this useless act of bursting crackers did get them a mention in the News all around the world. Spiking the pollution levels up to a staggering PM levels (particulate matter) in the air from an already hazardous 10 microns to a super fine and lethal range of 2.5 microns, way finer than a human hair which is generally 17 to 181 microns, making one of the most polluted cities in Asia and later this week around the world.
Another reason is burning of crops by farmers, as a traditional practice of clearing fields in Punjab and Haryana. This practice alone is conducted on such a wide scale that it contributes more than 60% to this hazardous smog in their adjacent states and Delhi being the immediate neighbour.
Remaining components of this smog are motor vehicular emissions of deadly carbon monoxide.
Wondering how does this particulate matter affect our bodies? This matter basically consists of a cocktail of various chemical components such as black carbon, sulphate, sodium chloride, nitrates, mineral dust and ammonia. Relishing enough? Yes, the benefits of this cocktail are tremendous – cardiovascular diseases, lung diseases, with itchy throats, burning eyes and yes, shortening of breaths with irritating sneezing and coughing.
The rise and rise of Smog and Why?
Delhi was wrapped in this smog blanket the morning after Diwali celebrations. Despite a reduced sale demographic, crackers cannot be said to be the main reason behind this intensely hazy morning. According to sources, it is only a 0.5% of the total elements responsible for this.
Doctors and experts calling this an alarming situation suggested one and all to stay in and practice pollution combating measures such as installing air filters, use of pollution masks and taking allergy meds, intake of more fluids and more so.
It’s been more than week since Diwali celebration and after some thwacking from the NGT (National Green Tribunal) and the Supreme Court, the Delhi Government has been asked to take quick and effective measures. The tribunal also suggested the government to sprinkle water not via helicopters rather using unconventional cranes.
After terming their own ruling state as a ‘gas chamber’, the government has issued a slew of measures banning construction, shutting schools till the smog is under control and shutting down power plants for up to 10 days. Sprinkling of roads with waters is another measure along with future prospects of bringing back the traffic system of odd-even and even cloud seeding or inducing artificial rains.