For 30 years, he has been riding a motorcycle taxi on the streets of New Delhi, one of the most polluted cities in the world. Panchan Lal, with a bad cough, suffers from chronic lung disease due to the toxic air of the capital. India.
“I do not know where the solution to this pollution that is killing us will come from,” he said. Vijay Sadokar tells AFP. For those who live in this capital, Delhi Sounds like a “Gas Room”.
Capital India It ranks first in the world for capitals with poor air quality.
The levels of microscopic PM2.5 particles – less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter and particularly harmful to health – are 30 times higher than the maximum daily limit set by the World Health Organization (WHO) last week.
“Overall lack of oxygen”
“Pollution causes me a lot of problems, (especially) in my throat”, comenta AFP Panchan Lal is sitting in his motorcycle taxi.
“My eyes are burning (…) my lungs are damaged and I have difficulty breathingThe 58-year-old man still coughs.
Lal walks around in the middle of heavy traffic every day DelhiAnd in winter, when pollution is high and the city of 20 million people is submerged in dense toxic fog.
Exhaust fumes from factories, car smoke and smoke from agricultural fires in nearby states create yellow fog.
Went with AFP for his visit to the doctor treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a progressive disease that blocks the circulation of oxygen.
According to Dr. Vivek Nangia, the first symptoms are “Cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, chest tightness ”. But it develops up to one person “There is an overall lack of oxygen”, And you may even need a respirator.
C LalHe did not continue treatment, his airways constricted and his condition gradually worsened.
Some measures by the authorities to control pollution, such as the campaign recommending that drivers turn off their machines at traffic lights, have no effect.
Lal has also seen how his activity has repercussions: sometimes he wanders around the city for hours without finding customers because many people prefer to go by taxi and do not expose themselves too much in polluted air.
This week, the local government took drastic action, ordering the temporary closure of six of the eleven surrounding coal plants. Delhi.
It closed schools until further notice, asked officials to work from home and banned trucks carrying essential items from circulating in the capital until next week.
However, the authorities rejected the order of the Supreme Court “Pollution Control.”
Pollution is responsible for more than one million deaths a year in this country, and according to a recent study by the University of Chicago, air pollution will reduce the life expectancy of four out of ten Indians by more than nine years.
But in an environment where national coal consumption has almost doubled in the last decade, public officials are avoiding facing fundamental problems.
At the recent COP26 Climate Conference, in the Scottish city of Glasgow, India He opposed more ambitious restrictions on the use of fossil fuels and coal, which would improve his economy.
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