Indian capital launches campaign to curb toxic air pollution
On Monday (06/10/2020), New Delhi authorities launched an anti-pollution drive to curb air pollution levels in Delhi ahead of the coming winter. Usually in winter, Delhi’s skies are covered with fog, dust, and toxic gases. The campaign is warning the public that dirty air could make the coronavirus pandemic more dangerous.
Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, said that the government would launch an anti-dust campaign to reduce agricultural residues’ burning.
Health experts say high levels of air pollution over the long term weaken the immune system of people living in New Delhi, the world’s most polluted city, as air pollution has made the coronavirus more susceptible.
Preliminary studies have further suggested that high levels of air pollution could make viral infections more dangerous.
It estimates that more than one million Indians die each year from air pollution-related diseases.
As of October 06,/10/ 2020, 285,103 people have been infected with the coronavirus in New Delhi, of which 5,510 have died.
In many Indian cities, people find it difficult to breathe due to air pollution, but New Delhi tops the list. Delhi’s health problems take a delicate shape in the winter when the city is shrouded in a toxic fume that obscures the sky and obstructs the sunlight from reaching the surface.
The level of pollution further increases when farmers in the neighbouring states’ agricultural areas set fire to agricultural residues (crop residues in the field after harvest – the lower part of the hay) to clear their land after harvest and prepare the ground for the next harvest season.
An anti-smog gun is a device that sprays drops of clean water into the atmosphere to reduce air pollution.
It is attached to a water tank and can also be mounted in a car. The device spreads water droplets in the air, causing dust, sand, and other particles floating in the air to fall to the ground soaked in water, clearing the air.
Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director of the New Delhi-based group Centre for Science and Environment and an air pollution expert, said the causes of low air quality in the capital were well known, and necessary steps should be taken to combat them.
However, he said the steps required to improve air quality were not being taken properly. “It’s not rocket science,” he said.
That is to say; it will not be as effective as a rocket; it will gradually be free of air pollution if all possible steps are taken to prevent air pollution. Just as air pollution does not occur overnight, it results from prolonged, long-term pollution processes, and it will take time to decontaminate it.
Over the past few years, New Delhi, the Indian capital, has often tried to reduce air pollution by limiting the number of cars on the road, using massive anti-smog guns, and halting construction activities.
But the measures have not been beneficial as neighbouring state governments have failed to co-operate.
One of the significant causes of air pollution in Delhi is the open firing of agricultural waste from agricultural land in neighbouring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
In November 2019, New Delhi was engulfed in a dark yellow haze for several days due to air pollution, and air pollution rose to record highs, leading to the closure of schools and the closure of airports.
Air pollution had even reached a point during the India-Bangladesh T20 match in New Delhi in November 2019, and the India-Sri Lanka Test match in December 2017 severely disrupted.