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Delhi's Pollution Crisis:Causes, Impact, Government Measures



  Nov 14, 2023

Explainer: Delhi’s Air Pollution Crisis



Why is Delhi’s Pollution a Topic of Concern?

Record Levels: Delhi consistently records high air pollution, breaking its own records.

AQI Measurement: The Air Quality Index (AQI) categorizes air quality from good to hazardous (0-500 scale). Delhi’s AQI often falls into the hazardous category.

Global Ranking: According to IQ Air, Delhi ranks as the most polluted city globally, with other Indian cities like Kolkata and Mumbai also in the top 10.

Is Stubble Burning a Major Cause?

Significant Contributor: Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana contributes to 38% of Delhi’s air pollution.

Crop Residue Burning Impact: This practice during October-November aligns with harvesting, resulting in increased AQI levels in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Economic Costs: The pollution from stubble burning incurs a loss of about ₹2.35 lakh crore annually in affected states.

Why is November Particularly Bad for Delhi’s Air Quality?

Seasonal Shift: Historically, December-January saw cooling in the Indo-Gangetic region. However, November now experiences higher pollution due to agricultural practices and climatic conditions.

Agricultural Regulations Impact: The Punjab Preservation of Subsoil Water Act of 2009 delayed paddy harvesting to November, a month characterized by lower wind speeds and higher moisture, trapping pollutants.

Delhi Government’s Measures Against Pollution

Winter Action Plan: Launched by Arvind Kejriwal’s government, it includes 15 measures targeting various pollution sources.

Odd-Even Rationing Scheme: Vehicles with odd and even numbers are allowed on alternate days post-Diwali.

DDC Recommendations: Proposals include a ban on crackers, promoting pollution masks, and regulating garbage burning.

Conclusion:

Delhi’s air pollution crisis is a complex issue involving various factors like stubble burning, vehicular emissions, and seasonal climatic changes. The government’s multifaceted approach aims to tackle these challenges effectively.

SRIRAM’s


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