Stay put inside your homes because Dwarka became the second most polluted region in the world, hazardous air poses threat to residents.
Burning eyes, difficulties in breathing, people walking around with masks in an environment engulfed by smog- No, this is not a fictionalized version of an apocalyptic world but rather the ground reality of what Delhi is seeing since the past few weeks.
An air pollution level of 907 was reported in Delhi’s Dwarka region, which as per the World Air Quality Index made it the second most polluted in the world. This is cause for concern for residents of Dwarka.
Following such hazardous levels of pollution, a public health emergency was declared by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA). The EPCA also imposed a ban on construction in the Delhi-NCR area till November 5. The panel also urged the government of Punjab and Haryana to take action against stubble burning.
The cause for deterioration in the quality of air is said to be- stubble burning, the burning of rubber scrap & garbage, diesel gensets and pollutants from industries and vehicular emissions. The Delhi Government also announced the shutting down of schools till November 5 in order to protect children from the hazardous air.
The government also distributed masks in schools and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal interacted with students and addressed a gathering explaining to the students the dangers of pollution and future course of action.
Air pollution is a menace which poses serious health risks. Back in June 2019, David Boyd, UN special rapporteur on human rights and environment had stated- “Air pollution is a silent, invisible and prolific killer that is responsible for premature death of seven million people each year, disproportionately affecting women, children and poor communities.” Boyd also urged member states of the UN to beat air pollution to fulfil their human rights obligations.
At such hazardous levels of air pollution, SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting) recommends that everyone should avoid any outdoor physical activity. People with heart and lung diseases, elderly people and children should not exert at all and remain indoor.
With the odd-even scheme coming in place from November 4 to 15 the government aims to reduce vehicular emissions. Whether it actually makes a difference or not will only be seen after the implementation.
By Abhijeet Pandey