Delhi Air Quality-Massive Air Pollution-Causes, Affects Preventive Action and Government Policy.

Most alarming & Severe environmental Issue-Delhi Air Quality-World's most pollutant Capital City-Great concern to Climate change.

Delhi air
Delhi, the capital of India , is one of the most polluted cities in the world. According to World Health Organization(WHO), Delhi ranked as the most polluted city in 2019, with an annual average PM2.5 concentration of 98.6 micrograms per cubic meter(ug/m3). PM2.5 are fine particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems such as, respiratory diseases, and cancer. The WHO recommends that the annual average PM2.5 concentration should not exceed

Major Causes of Air Pollution in Delhi-There are many factors that contribute to the poor air quality in Delhi as follows:
  • Vehicular Emission: Delhi has more than 10 million registered, which emits harmful gases as Carbon di Oxide, Carbon ono Oxide, Sulfur di oxide, Nitrogen oxides and unsaturated hydro carbon. The high traffic congestion and lack of public transport also worsen the situation.

  • Industrial Activities: Delhi has many small and medium sized industries such as brick kilns, power plant and metal smelters that burn coal wood other fuels, releasing smoke and ash into air.

  • Crop Burning: During the winter farmers in the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab burn their crop residual to clear their fields for the next season.

  • Construction and demolition: The rapid urbanization and development of Delhi leads to a lot of construction and demolition activities generates huge dust and debris that get suspended in the air.

  • Weather condition: The low wind speed and high humidity in Delhi trap pollutants in the ground level and prevent to disperse.

Major Impacts of Bad Air Quality of Delhi: The high level of air pollutants have serious consequence for the environment and human health as discussed below.

  • Environmental Degradation: Air pollution damages the natural resources and ecosystems of Delhi, such as forests, water bodies, wildlife and monuments. The Taj Mahal,  UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been affected by acid rain and corrosion due to pollution.

  • Human Health Impact: According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) air pollution is responsible 54% of deaths due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD), 28% of death due to Ischemic heart disease(IHD), 27% of due to stroke, 27% due to lung cancer and 22% of lower respiratory infection(LRI) in Delhi.

Economic Losses. Air pollution affects the economy by reducing productivity, increasing health care cost and lowering tourism potential. According to Greenpeace India, air pollution cost india$150billion.

Preventive Measures and Government Policies to Combat Air Pollution in Delhi.

  • Odd-Even Scheme: this is a traffic rationing system that allows only odd numbered or even number vehicles to ply on alternate days, depending on the last digit of their license plate. This scheme introduced in January 2016 and has implemented several times during peak pollution period.

  • Graded Response Acton Plan(GRAP): This is a set of emergency measures that are enforced based on severity of air pollution levels. This measures include banning of diesel generator, closing brick kilns, and hot mix plants, stopping construction, increasing parking fees, enhancing public transport services, sprinkling water on roads and imposing fines on polluter. 

  • National Clean Air Program (NCAP):The National level program to reduce PM2.5 level 20-30% in 2024 comparing 2017. This program includes setting up air quality monitoring system, city wise action plan, creating public awareness programs, promoting clean energy 

  • Electric Vehicle(EVs):The Delhi Electrical vehicle Policy 2020 offers various incentives and subsidy for buying and using EVs. 

  • Green Delhi App: This is an mobile application that allows citizens to report any violations of environmental norms such as garbage burning, dust emission, or industrial pollution to the authorities.
Conclusion: Air Pollution in Delhi is a serious problem that requires urgent and collective action fro all stakeholders, including the governmental the industry, the civil and the citizens.

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