Delhi Continues to Struggle with “Severe” Air Quality for Third Consecutive Day
Delhi, the capital city of India, has been grappling with a severe air pollution problem for the past few days. The air quality index (AQI) reached a staggering 415 on Saturday, the highest it has been in nearly two years. This has resulted in Delhi’s air quality remaining in the “severe” category for the third consecutive day, leaving residents in a state of distress.
Several factors have contributed to this alarming rise in pollution. Firstly, idle winds have allowed pollutants to settle in the city, creating a stagnant atmosphere. Additionally, the smoke emanating from fires in farm fields, coupled with low temperatures, has further compounded the issue.
Most of the pollution monitoring stations in Delhi registered “severe” AQI levels, but the situation was particularly dire in Shadipur and Anand Vihar. These areas reported the highest pollution levels, leaving residents struggling to breathe.
However, Delhi is not the only city affected by this hazardous air quality. Greater Noida in the National Capital Region (NCR) registered the highest pollution levels, with an AQI of 490. This alarming figure is a cause for concern, as it indicates that the air quality in the entire region has been severely compromised.
Weather experts predict that Delhi’s pollution levels will remain unchanged for the next three days, as calm winds are expected to persist. Alarmed by the situation, Delhi’s environment minister, Gopal Rai, has requested the central government to ban polluting vehicles from entering the NCR. Rai has also called for a meeting with the environment ministers of the states concerned to strategize and address this pressing issue.
One major contributor to Delhi’s pollution levels is stubble burning in the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana. It is estimated that these fires contribute to 23.6% of Delhi’s pollution. Shockingly, despite efforts to curb this practice, 1,360 farm fires were recorded in Punjab alone on Saturday, indicating a lack of progress in addressing this environmental hazard.
Unfortunately, the lack of action and the blame game among political entities continues to hinder progress in resolving Delhi’s pollution crisis. It is evident that thermal inversion, combined with local pollutants and smoke from farm fires, is exacerbating the situation. Experts assert that strong external winds are required to break this inversion pattern and disperse the pollutants, but until then, Delhi’s residents are left grappling with a severe air quality crisis.
As the situation worsens, it is clear that immediate and coordinated steps need to be taken to alleviate Delhi’s pollution woes. With the health and well-being of millions at stake, it is crucial that both the central and state governments prioritize this issue and work towards finding a sustainable solution for the betterment of the city and its residents.
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