On Saturday, India’s Capital Delhi was covered in a blanket of choking grey air and pollution, with government’s environmental data showing air quality slumping to “severe” or “very poor” levels in almost all parts of India’s Capital.
Government Authorities have already advised residents of Delhi to keep outdoor activity to a minimum from the beginning of next month November until at least the end of the Festival Diwali on Nov 7, when firecrackers typically further taint air already hit by the burning of crop stubble in neighboring states.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board, 25 out of 31 monitoring stations in various places of Delhi for which data CPCB India was available on Saturday showed that the air quality in those areas could “seriously impact” the health of sick people and even affect the people who are not having respiratory illness.
Rest of 5 monitoring stations showed “poor” air quality, which the Central Pollution Control Board says can cause Breathing problems to most people on prolonged exposure.
Delhi Pollution, a government handling twitter account for sharing pollution related news tweeted, “We have been stripped of our #RightToBreathe,”
Last year most of parents in Delhi send their children out of the city in the winter season of Nov, December.
Some doctors in the Delhi said they already start to witness a respiratory problem patients.
Prashant Saxena, head pulmonologist at the Max Smart Speciality Hospital in New Delhi, said the number of patients coming to him with breathing problems, asthma, chest and related ailments has increased 15-20 percent in the past two weeks.
“I am expecting it to rise further, because the air quality is worsening and pollution is an ever increasing problem here,” Prashant Saxena said.
“I am getting a lot of people who are not getting relief easily. They require medication for longer.”
Despite pressure from health experts, this year government bans fireworks.
Government faced lots of criticism for failing to prevent the farmers from neighboring states from burning stubble.
To curb pollution levels around Diwali, the country’s top court this month only allowed the use of “green” firecrackers, but it was unclear how the rule would be enforced or whether there was such a thing as an environmentally safe firework.
Environmentalists have also questioned the credibility of the federal government’s target to reduce stubble burning by 70 percent in neighboring Punjab and Haryana states this year.