With a dip in sales of crackers, a decline in the level of Diwali pollution was also expected. However, Delhi people like to surprise the world. Which they did alright this time too. While people of Delhi were asleep with a hangover of card parties and firecrackers, the city was taken over by a layer of smog and haze. This was thicker than the layer of dust on people’s brains who went ahead to burst crackers. This combined with the already existing contributors to pollution pushed the capital’s air quality to an alarming stage.
According to the reports air quality of Delhi post-Diwali has been the worst in five years. On Monday morning people travelling to their offices complained of an almost zero-visibility. The strange thing was that it was not just smog, but also the lingering smell of firecrackers in the air. People complained that the air smelt of scorched fireworks which made it hard to breathe properly. Not only this, the smoke collected in the air resulted in extreme suffocation and itching in the eyes.
Air pollution level is on an alarming stage if the measuring index is between 400 and 500. Delhi’s index now reads between 447 to 500 in different parts of Delhi. Usually at such a level of pollution, it is advised to immediately shut down the contributors of pollution.
Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 rose to “hazardous” levels, from 643 to 999 micrograms in various areas, which is several times higher than the safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre, according to the Central Pollution Control Board. According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, the levels of PM 10 and PM 2.5 in Delhi were recorded at severe levels of above 400 micrograms per cubic metre and 300 micrograms per cubic metre, respectively.
People usually compare every situation of our country with the ones in China. So let us do the same this time too. In China if the air pollution reaches at such an alarming stage then a ‘red alert’ is issued. In such a situation all schools, construction sites and factories are shut down till the pollution is brought down to a level where people can breathe. But in our country, such a shut-down is impossible to pull off. in spite of waking up to the smell of magnesium and iron, the highly polluted industries and smoke-emitting transports are still operating in the capital.
How very wrong you are when you expect the smog to disappear overnight! Residents of Delhi expected the smog to disappear in the following days of Diwali. Just like our salaries disappear after the pay day. Even after almost a week, the visibility is poor. Be it a healthy or an ill person, everyone is complaining of difficulties in breathing.
The capital city pollution is not a new issue Delhi faces. Diwali damage is also not a surprise factor to make the matters worse. What’s the solution? Well, the Delhi Government did call for a meeting to find one. But due to unavoidable circumstances, they could not. But let’s not get there for now.
The Government of Delhi also announced plans of installing air purifiers and mist fountains at five highly polluted locations. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said vacuum cleaning and sprinkling of water will be done and a team will be formed which will focus on decreasing the dust from all the major construction sites. In addition to this, The Government also prohibited burning of leaves and garbage.
Beijing is our closest competitor in this scenario and twitter saw a nice troll game rolling in days after Diwali. Even social networking sites like Twitter had Delhites complaining and passing around jokes about being close to Beijing. No matter how funny those jokes are, it still does not solve the problem at hand.
Therefore, citizens complained of all the problems they were facing due to smog. Some even blamed Kejriwal’s government for not taking adequate steps at the right time. However, we urge people to take out a self-reflecting moment and think that is it really just the government’s fault? AAP government has initiated plans which may or may not work. However, with absolute certainty we would like to tell the people of Delhi that no amount of plans by the government (no matter which government we talk about) will be successful. Until and unless the people respond to them in a positive manner and help the government in their own personal ways.
So let’s straightaway start with big steps like car-pooling, usage of public transport, a total ban of smoke-emitting products and locations. We need to do this because it is too late to take it one day at a time. We have already crossed the time when we could shout out slogans and be done with the day.
It is high time we start contributing to these plans otherwise it would be a situation where Timbaland would have to sing “It’s too late to apologise” to us.
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