Many Delhi residents suffer respiratory troubles as air quality drops 400% in four weeks

It has started.
It has started.
Image: REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee
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As if the Covid-19 was not enough, residents of Delhi are now bracing themselves for another serious health risk.

Nearly 65% of households in Delhi already have at least one member who has started experiencing pollution-related ailments due to the toxic smog that haunts the capital city every winter, as per a survey conducted by community social media engagement platform LocalCircles. The survey included more than 15,000 responses from Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad, and Faridabad.

The air quality in Delhi and surrounding areas deteriorate significantly every winter, mainly owing to stubble burning in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab.

Delhi’s air quality has deteriorated by 400% in the last four weeks, as per LocalCircles. Today (Oct. 16), the air quality in some parts of Delhi is hazardous with an air quality index (AQI) range beyond 300.

An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered “good.”

With air quality expected to worsen in the near future, many citizens of Delhi NCR are planning to travel to avoid pollution despite the existing pandemic outbreak. However, given the raging coronavirus pandemic, many may have to simply stay at home.

Delhi government’s efforts

Given that the smog issue has become a regular affair—getting worst every year—the Delhi government has launched an anti-air pollution campaign called “Yuddh Pradushan Ke Viruddh.” Under the campaign, the government has prepared a seven-point action plan ranging from measures to control dust and mitigate hot spots, to a mobile application for complaints and a “war room” for monitoring.

However, not many are hopeful that the situation will be any better than the past years.