The Poisonous Pollution Situation: The Government Finally Wakes From Its Slumber
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With Delhi’s air quality going from bad to worse in the last 3 days, Delhiites have had it. There is nowhere that they aren’t raising their voices, from Twitter to Facebook.
With Delhi’s air quality going from bad to worse in the last 3 days, Delhiites have had it. There is nowhere that they aren’t raising their voices, from Twitter to Facebook. And finally, the government seems to have paid attention to both the citizens, as well as the Indian Medical Association, which had asked the government to declare an emergency situation in Delhi because of the alarming pollution levels.
All schools have been closed in Delhi and Punjab till Sunday, according to decisions by the respective governments. Delhi L-G Anil Baijal has announced a ban on all trucks entering the city, until further orders, with trucks carrying essential commodities, like food items, being exempted. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed that civil construction projects and industrial activities be shut down on a temporary basis, that is, till November 14.
The Delhi government has also announced the implementation of the odd-even scheme, which will begin from November 13, and will end on November 17. This scheme will ensure that the number of vehicles on the roads goes down drastically. Women-only vehicles, 2-wheelers, CNG vehicles, hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, vehicles carrying children up to 12 years of age, and those carrying children in school uniform will be exempt. The NGT will review this plan today.
To combat the issue of inadequate public transport, which forces people to be dependent on their personal vehicles, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) have announced decisions to have more trains and buses plying, in a bid to augment services. Another step that the NGT has taken is to direct civic bodies to form teams to make sure that there is absolutely no burning of waste in the Delhi-NCR region. It has also stressed upon authorities the need to implement the Environment Pollution Control Authority’s (EPCA’s) directions to improve ambient air quality.
Wherever PM 10 levels are 600 micrograms per cubic metre or above, the NGT has directed that water should be sprinkled in those areas.
Despite there being a ban on stubble burning, which is a major contributor towards the yearly high pollution problem, farmers in Punjab and Haryana are still burning their crops.
With Air Quality Index meters showing readings of up to 999 (the maximum that the meters can go up to), people are worried about the actual pollution levels.
People have been wearing masks, buying air purifiers, and taking other steps to do what they can, in this situation.
Recent studies have shown that air pollution can lead to many diseases, including cancer and mental health problems. Sadly, the current Delhi pollution situation is not new. Pollution levels spike up every year around this time, and there is outrage among people, but no permanent solution is being worked towards.
The lack of winds is a factor in the current deteriorating situation. However, things are expected to improve by Saturday, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). We hope that come Saturday, we find some relief from this poisonous air that we are all being forced to breathe.