February 6, 2023

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India: Pollution pushes New Delhi into toxic fog [VIDEO]

Levels Pollution On Tuesday, Air in New Delhi maintained its worst record this year India An ash sank under the fog, while authorities are taking drastic measures to reduce this toxic air, forcing people to lock themselves in their homes.

On the streets, visibility is reduced to a few hundred meters, while in satellite imagery the city disappears under a cloud of smoke, a highly toxic fog that is thought to be the most polluted capital inhabited by 20 million people. The world.

And the situation has not improved. The Air Quality Index (AQI) was at “very bad” above 400 this Tuesday, reaching even 498 points when the maximum was 500.

The concentration of PM2.5 particles in the air is 10 times higher than the World Health Organization’s annual reference value for air quality, and according to the state agency Meteorological and Air Quality Research Organization (SAFAR), “AQI is unlikely. Improved tomorrow.”

This windy atmosphere has two origins: “What is happening inside Delhi and what is happening outside Delhi,” explained Efe Amit Butt, director of the World Resource Organization (WRI). India, Who specializes in meeting development challenges.

The burning of crop residues in the agricultural areas around the city and the air that carries the particles in the air are external factors, among other factors being the emissions of traffic, dust from buildings and the use of fuels. And described the burning of solid waste.

“All of this already adds to the bad air quality throughout the year, and this creates the atmosphere that it is now,” he added.

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“This time of year it’s going from bad to worse (…) Pollution Air is a major problem not only in New Delhi but also in India. India has twenty of the most polluted cities in the world, ”he said.

SAFAR noted, “Calm local air also reduces the spread of pollutants. Therefore, air quality is expected to be at the top end of the ‘very bad’ category tomorrow.”

Emergency measures

“If there are windows in the room, close them … if you go outside, masks called N-95 or P-100 respirators will help,” the Indian company said in its recommendations.

Authorities also ordered the closure of schools to prevent children from being polluted, construction work was halted and delivery was imposed on all public servants in an effort to reduce traffic emissions, but these measures have so far had little impact.

The Supreme Court has also said that immediate action should be taken.

“We have to wear masks even inside the house,” the High Court judge told government representatives during a special session last Saturday to address the health crisis.

Although purifiers help improve air quality inside homes, large sections of the population do not have access to this equipment or have to work outside, permanently exposed to toxic air.

For now, plans and legal frameworks to address this crisis, which recurs every year, have failed.

A study by the Legal Aid for Forests and the Environment (LIFE) organization, after repeated criticisms, confirms that there have been “no good ‘wind days in the last four years” even after the implementation of the step-by-step response plan presented in 2017. Inactivity.

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Rahul Chaudhary, an environmental lawyer with the Life Law Committee, says there are no plans at the moment for emergencies like the current ones.

The only thing that can be done now is to wait until the weather conditions are favorable for air circulation, which is an “impossible” measure.

Authorities are investigating whether to close the city for a few more days and allow New Delhi to breathe.

(With information from EFE)

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