Toxic smog has turned the capital of India into a “gas chamber”.

Toxic smog has turned the capital of India into a “gas chamber”.

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India’s capital Delhi region was a “gas chamber” in many places on November 4, 2022, with smog, smog and an air quality index of over 600, indicating a serious health risk.

CBS / Vijay Bedi


New Delhi — Indian authorities stepped up efforts on Friday to address deteriorating air quality as farmers burned crop stubble and calmer winter winds left a thick blanket of smog and smog to suffocate residents of the capital, Delhi. Factories, construction sites and primary schools were ordered closed, and Delhi authorities urged people to work from home as the air filled with dangerous fine particle pollution.

Delhi’s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI), which measures the concentration of very fine particles known as PM2.5 in the air, particularly harmful pollutants because they are easily inhaled and can settle deep in the lungs, crossed 470 on Friday. the According to the Central Pollution Control Board of the state government.

Anything over 300 is classified as “dangerous”. international AQI rating system, and at “severe” levels, air pollution “affects healthy people and seriously affects those with existing illnesses.” Many parts of Delhi recorded an AQI of over 600 on Friday.

Authorities also restricted the operation of diesel vehicles and sent trucks equipped with water sprinklers and anti-fog guns to try to control the smog.

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Commuters walk past a truck equipped with an anti-smog gun that sprays water to control air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 4, 2022.

MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty


“We are also thinking of implementing an odd-even vehicle scheme,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said. Thus, about half of Delhi’s privately owned vehicles will be invited off the roads, with odd and even number plates allowed to ply on alternate days.

Even air quality monitors installed at the US Embassy in Delhi, located in one of the cleanest and greenest parts of the city, recorded an AQI of over 360 on Friday, reaching the most alarming, “hazardous” level on the AQI chart. displayed on the embassy website.

Residents of the Indian capital are not likely to see any quick improvements as weather conditions are expected to remain calm and seasonal crop stubble is likely to continue.

India’s Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav on Wednesday blamed the opposition-run northern state of Punjab for failing to stop farmers from burning the remains of their summer crops.

“There is no doubt who turned Delhi into a gas chamber,” Yadav tweeted.

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A farmer burns stubble in a field on the outskirts of Amritsar, Punjab state, India, October 20, 2022.

NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty


Senior Punjab politician Bhagwant Mann defended his administration, saying it had only been in office for half a year, and called for a joint effort by the state and federal authorities to tackle the problem.

The Delhi government follows a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to tackle air pollution in the city. More stringent measures were taken on Friday as the average air quality worsened to ‘Severe Plus’ with an AQI of over 450.

“It is the responsibility of all of us to take initiative at every level to stop pollution,” Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said earlier this week.

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Police check a checkpoint near the India Gate in New Delhi, on the road leading to the presidential palace, amid thick fog, November 4, 2022.

CBS / Vijay Bedi


India’s capital is suffocated with toxic air most winters due to a combination of factors, but much of the smog is suffocating; come from huge farm fires in the neighboring states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Many farmers burn their crop residues, the stubble left out of the ground, to prepare their fields for winter crops. It is a much cheaper option than transporting the stumps for proper disposal.


India blames farmers for dangerous air pollution

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The practice was officially banned by the country’s Supreme Court, and farmers were warned they would face fines for violating the order, but it served as a weak deterrent.

Between September 15 and October 31 this year, 16,004 farm fires were reported in Punjab alone, almost 3,700 more than the same period last year. Haryana has reported 1,921 farm fires this year.

Satellite images NASA’s Fire Information Rescue Management System showed a thick layer of red dots in Haryana on Tuesday, indicating live fires in the last 24 hours.

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NASA’s Fire Information Rescue Management System (FIRMS) satellite image shows a dense patch of red dots indicating fires in the northern Indian states of Haryana and Punjab in the 24 hours leading up to November 4, 2022.

NASA/FIRMS




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