According to a top Environment agency, CSE, Delhi is facing the worst smog in 17 years.
The agency has further called it a state of health emergency and has advised the Delhi government to issue health alerts, asking parents to keep the children indoors.
“This demands emergency response to protect the vulnerable — those who are suffering from respiratory and heart diseases and children. The government should advise people to stay indoors and avoid outdoor exercises. ” – Anumita Roychowdhury, Head of CSE Air Pollution Team
The city, since Diwali on October 30, has been facing visibility issues and a smoggy haze has been enveloped in toxic smog for over five days now.
Looking at the severity of the condition the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has thus asked the Delhi government to come up with stringent plans for not only to control winter pollution but also asked them to issue a daily health advisory to the people giving updates about the situation.
CSE then added:
“Schools should be shut if necessary. Children are more vulnerable. Given their hyper level of physical activities, they inhale more volume of air than adults and therefore, breathe in more pollution. Joint studies of Central Pollution Control Board and Chittaranjan National Cancer Research Institute in Kolkata have shown that every third child in Delhi has impaired lungs.” – Anumita Roychowdhury
CSE further pointed out that a recent report by the Indian Meteorological Department shows that on November 2 Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport faced the worst levels of smog in 17 years with visibility as low as 300-400 metres.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee also shows the levels of PM2.5 have drastically increased by 62.7 per cent on November 2, which is 11.6 times more than normal.
Meanwhile, Delhi PWD Ministery, headed by Satyendar Jain, has identified crop burning in Punjab and Haryana as one of the major factors behind the spiralling level of pollutants.
The source has been confirmed by the CSE, which says that paddy burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have increased after Diwali which is making the situation worse for Delhi.