Air Pollution Bringing Delhi to a Stand Still

Photograph: Dominique Faget

Photograph: Dominique Faget

Schools have been shut for three days and construction sites have temporarily stopped operating due to the dangers of high air pollution.

The city is one of the largest cities in the world and the air pollution has reached alarming rates. Children can be seen wearing masks to protect themselves from inhaling harmful chemicals. Many more people are experiencing dangerous cough attacks and shortness of breath.

Traffic is going to be rationed due to the heavy smog that has been present in the air for the past six days, schools are being shut and large companies have stopped production. The city is under huge danger of shutting down completely if the problem can’t be contained.

The Delhi government has declared the toxic air levels an ‘emergency situation’. The recent fireworks which were set off during the Diwali celebrations have left the sky looking cloudy and hazy for more than six days when it usually only lasts for one or two days. Authorities are concerned and have advised parents to work from home and children to stay in doors until the situation subsides.

The city’s poor air is attributed to a combination of road dust, exhaust fumes, industrial emissions and open fires, including those lit by poorer residents to cook and keep warm. The city has struggled with poor air quality back in the 1990’s but was successful in restoring it quickly and sufficiently, we can only hope that history is going to repeat itself otherwise we are going to be left with a larger problem.

 

Aleksandra Ganuszko

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