If you type “New Delhi Air” you will be bombarded by several articles written recently discussing their rapidly declining air quality. As per the Atlantic: Ministers are demanding school cancellations, ordering citizens to stay indoors for several days and keep all windows closed. Five million children have been handed face masks to help with the rapidly declining air quality. Click here for article.
Being labeled as one of the world’s most polluted cities, a haze surrounds New Delhi thick enough to obscure the sky and block sunlight. As per CTV news, air pollution in northern India, including New Delhi, peaks due to smoke from agricultural fires in neighbouring Haryana and Punjab states which mixes with the city’s vehicle emissions and construction dust. Authorities have resorted to emergency measures such as banning construction, reducing traffic and prohibiting the use of diesel generators. But the steps have had little effect because state governments have failed to co-operate in tackling pollution. Click here for article.
A recent report by the Health Effects Institute surprisingly believes that if no additional measures are taken to change the crisis, pollution related death tolls in India will rise from 1.1 million in 2015, to 1.7 million in 2030. By 2050, a staggering 3.6 million deaths.
The United Nations Environment program has responded to this crisis by calling for stronger government to environmental relations, mandating anti-pollution policies, and finding creative solutions to everyday problems (such as preventing agricultural open burning by turning crop residue into a resource to produce fuel for electricity generation) This may not solve the problem, but its an incredible first step.