Delhi pollution: When the capital could not breathehttps://indianexpress.com/photos/picture-gallery-others/delhi-air-pollution-when-the-capital-could-not-breathe-3740056/

Delhi pollution: When the capital could not breathe

On Sunday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who compared Delhi to a “gas chamber”, announced a slew of measures to tackle the air pollution crisis.

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A boy sits on the shoulder of his mother as they participate in a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, on Sunday. (source: AP)

A week after Diwali, air quality in Delhi has plummeted further with no signs of improvement due to the unfavourable weather conditions such as reduced air movement and high humidity.

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A group of Indian women wear pollution masks arrive to a protest against air pollution in New Delhi on Sunday. (source: AP)

Given the deteriorating situation in Delhi, health experts are suggesting the government to put a stop to all the construction activity in the city till the ’emergency’ situation is resolved. According to experts, apart from construction, factories and industries operating in residential and unauthorised areas, without any certification of clearance on pollution, must be shut down so that the civilians in the nearby region are not harmed by possible harmful effluents. The experts are also suggesting shutting down of power plants in the city.

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New Delhi: Vehicles ply on smog covered Rajpath in New Delhi on Saturday. (source: PTI)

The government was supposed to start vacuum cleaning its arterial roads in April this year. Four machines were engaged for a few days but problems in the tendering process meant that the project could not take off.

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Gurgaon: School girls wearing anti-air pollution masks as protective gear after pollution reached hazardous levels in Gurgaon on Saturday. (source: PTI)

Speaking to reporters after an emergency Cabinet meeting on the issue, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a ban on construction activity for the next five days and shutting down the city’s Badarpur power plant for the next ten days. Schools will also be remained shut for the next three days, said Kejriwal.

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Smog engulfs the world famous Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. (source: ANI)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who described the city as a “toxic gas chamber”, called for a cabinet meeting on Sunday afternoon to discuss the issue. Delhi cabinet minister Satyendra Jain, in an interview to ANI, said that the crop burning in nearby states is the main contributor of the pollution, while many are blaming the burning of crackers during the festive season.

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A farmer walks through smoke caused by farming waste set on fire at Palwal, in the state of Haryana, south of New Delhi. (source: AP)

According to satellite images shared by NASA, crop stubble burning has been on the rise over the last three weeks, with the peak being reached this week.
Several farmers claimed they have no option but to burn the stubble. “The stubble does not decompose on its own. We cannot remove it using tractors, and doing it manually is very expensive,” said a farmer.

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New Delhi: Ariel view in New Delhi, which is covered with dense smog as pollution hits hazardous levels on Saturday. (source: PTI)

Effectively ruling out the third phase of the odd-even road rationing project anytime soon, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said it will not help improve air quality in the current conditions. “Odd-even can only stop vehicular pollution. When pollution is coming from outside, it can’t help improve the air quality,” he said.

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New Delhi: Securitymen walk on a street as Delhi reels under the seasons worst air quality a day after Diwali. (source: PTI)

“There are five reasons triggering air pollution that include use of firewood, coal, diesel, petrol and burning of agricultural waste. We have to find solution to address the problem. We should imbibe self-discipline in our routine lifestyle. If I don’t minimise use of my four cars and expect other people to use cycles, that should not be happen. We should collectively come under self-regulation,” said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.