New delhi faces worst air pollution
Added On November 9, 2016
India's capital city New Delhi is facing the worst ever pollution crisis in 17 years.
The government has implemented tough measures to tackle the situation.
LIFESTYLES has more.
People in New Delhi are struggling with heavily polluted air, after smoke released from fireworks set off during the Diwali celebrations still lingers in the air of the metropolis.
Level of respirable pollutants PM 2.5 were above 700 in the city's worst affected areas on Monday.
As the situation escalating into an emergency one, experts say it is a combination of many complex factors.
These include construction activities, smoke coming out of burning of agricultural stubble, burning of waste including toxic waste and vehicular emissions.
The government has announced a slew of emergency measures including closure of schools, and a ban on all construction activity for the next 5 days.
The government was also considering the possibilities of starting the odd even traffic scheme again.
SOUNDBITE (ENG): K.K.AGGRAWAL, Secretary General, Indian Medical Association
"PM 2.5 level more than 400 is absolutely damaging to the health of the children. The children are growing. They do more exercise, therefore, their chances of the lungs getting damaged are higher. PM 1 is 230. It gets absorbed in the blood. So these children, if they continue with this level of pollution, they will get premature aging. If pregnant woman gets it, she will get premature delivery – low birth rate child. So this is absolutely dangerous and a matter of concern to the community."
According to a recent report by UNICEF, 300 million children globally are exposed to extreme air pollution.
Out of these, 220 million live in south Asia.
In India, children from poorer communities, living near landfill sites or slum areas, are suffering the most from the air pollution crisis.
Their sanitation standards are poor, and they have weak immune systems because of malnutrition.
SOUNDBITE (ENG): CHITRA MUKHERJEE, Programmme Head, Chintan
"They live in communities which face the brunt. They don't live in sanitized environments. They don't have a house to go back to or a school to go back to. Or they don't even have that luxury of going to schools which are shut down because there is air pollution. I mean, it's not just children. I would say that since we are talking about children here, yes, it's a huge thing for them. But any underprivileged, marginalized community around the world, they are the ones who are the maximum affected by climate change."
STANDUP: RATI AGNIHOTRI,CNC correspondent
"As Indian capital Delhi faces its worst ever pollution crisis, the most affected people are poor people on streets who do not have the means and access to safeguard themselves against this deadly air pollution. Although the Delhi government has taken a slew of emergency measures to tackle this deadly crisis, this deadly air pollution. But this is a time for the government and the civil society to get together and come up with ways and means to foster environmental consciousness in public, and also to adopt a multi-pronged approach to tackle air pollution in Delhi."