Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendra Jain on Friday said the rise in pollution in the city was because of crops being burnt in neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh. “Crop burning in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh is the biggest contributor in the rise of pollution levels. We have requested the government of these states several time not to burn crops,” Jain said.
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On Thursday, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has pressed alarm buttons to highlight one of the worst cases of smog in the national capital. CSE experts said that as per the India Meteorological Department, the smog on November 2, 2016 was the worst in 17 years.
Analysing the available data, the CSE reports states that the post-Diwali peak of pollution is higher than the Diwali peak, as the levels of PM2.5 have increased by 62.7 per cent on November 2 as compared to that on Diwali. On November 2, the levels were 9.4 times the standard.
The Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi recorded the worst levels of smog in 17 years on November 2, with visibility as low as 300-400 metres. The period between 11AM and 2:30 PM was the worst in the day with respect to airport visibility.
Calling for an advisory to be issued with alacrity, the CSE report states that the health advisory needs to inform people to keep children and those suffering from heart and respiratory ailments and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) indoors and avoid outdoor exercises.
Schools should be shut if necessary as children are more vulnerable. Joint studies of Central Pollution Control Board and the Chittaranjan National Cancer Research Institute from Kolkata have shown that every third child in Delhi has impaired lungs.