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Delhi Chokes With Bad Air Quality Across AQI Stations, Drastic Measures Needed
As per the AQI data, any reading above 300, which is almost everywhere in NCR is considered hazardous, with the index warning that everyone may experience serious health effects
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On 7th November, NCR regions woke up to a deteriorating air quality, with heavy instances of smog and pollution. The Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal even compared the Delhi to a ‘gas chamber’ in a tweet. With air quality level dropping, even visibility decreased in the region, due to moisture and pollutants, shrouding the city with a thick cover of haze.
The fall in the visibility level also caused delays in train services and vehicular movement in the city. As per the real-time air-quality index, the monitoring stations in Punjabi Bagh was at 999, the highest possible level, with the main pollutant being PM 10. R.K Puram showed the AQI at 575, which is still at the Hazardous level, while Anand Vihar showed a high AQI showing levels at 704. Mandir Marg showed the pollution level at 522, with the maximum PM 2.5 concentration being 742, and the maximum PM 10 concentration being 765.
Shadipur too showed a hazardous air quality, with the AQI reading at 420. The maximum PM 2.5 concentration as per the AQI in RK Puram was 710, while the maximum PM 10 concentration was at 999, the highest level, in RK Puram. Punjabi Bagh seems to be a really badly affected area, with maximum PM 2.5 concentration at 763, and maximum PM 10 concentration at 999, the highest level. Dwarka’s AQI was at 420, which is again hazardous. The AQI monitoring station at Vikas Sadan, Gurgaon showed better results, with the AQI at 245, which is again in the ‘very unhealthy category’.
As per the AQI data, any reading above 300, which is almost everywhere in NCR is considered hazardous, with the index warning that everyone may experience serious health effects, and that outdoor exertion should be avoided. Those with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases may be seriously impacted.
“Every time I get out if the house, I come back with a dust-induced cold and chest pain. I have fallen sick thrice since I got back to Delhi 3 months ago. And I leave the house not more than twice a week. It’s so bad, that my parents want to relocate at this age”, said Jahanara Rabia Raza, a resident of Delhi. Another resident, Nikita D’cruz complained, “I go for a jog in Jahapanah forest every morning. There was a lot of fog today. It took me some time to realize that my eyes were watering and every time I inhaled, something felt wrong. The whole purpose of the exercise was counterproductive. I instantly felt uneasy and ill”.
With stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and neighbouring regions cited as the main reasons for the heavy smog and deteriorating pollution, it is time that policy-makers find ways to compensate the farmers, so they do not resort to crop-burning at the end of the season. The Indian Medical Association even declared the city to be in a public health emergency state and urged schools to stop all outdoor activities to keep children out of hazardous air pollution levels.
As air quality levels have already crossed the threshold of permissible air quality standards, it is a serious concern among the citizens which requires more drastic solutions than cracker-bans or odd-even schemes. The high concentration of PM 2.5 and PM 10 is a serious hazard, as these are ultrafine particulates having the ability to enter the respiratory system and subsequently the bloodstream of humans and animals, causing harm.
Smog and pollution levels will continue to increase during the winter, with emissions being high and accelerated burning, and something has to be done immediately, to prevent catastrophe. Till then, the residents of NCR are urged to wear masks or stay indoors, to avoid respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Stay safe, breathe safe.