On 13th November 2018, The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had hit out at the state and centre government for failing to control the situation of deteriorating air quality in Delhi and said that it was a state of health emergency in the national capital. Whereas, the usual political blame game continued with leaders blaming other states and similar external factors for the dipping of air quality and nobody taking the responsibility for taking the curing steps. Meanwhile, the Delhi Air Quality Index refused to come to satisfactory levels as the Air Quality Index on November 14 (Children’s Day) was 359, placing Delhi-NCR’s air in ‘Very Poor’ category which is very scary. Moreover, this kind of polluted air would surely result in respiratory illness upon prolonged exposure to the environment.
That if the situation continuous to be the same, it may be impossible for the people to live here and survive the unhealthy environment. That about 89 per cent of the people in Delhi feel sickness or discomfort due to very poor air quality and most of the people believe vehicles and felling of trees are the major causes behind the increasing pollution. The number of private vehicles are increasing day by day whereas the trees were cut down so state as well as centre is unable to find any effective measure to curb the pollution levels. The prime four causes of the degenerating air quality were notified to be motor vehicles (74 per cent), industrial units (58 per cent), tree cutting (56.9 per cent) and construction activities (48.2 per cent). That some basic measures were taken as under Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) was taken partially like stopping of construction activities and entry of large trucks in the capital. That a Supreme Court judge, Justice Arun Mishra, took a dig on the grave situation in the capital and summed up saying that, "What is happening in Delhi? So much pollution. People couldn't get out of their houses. I am an early riser and go for a morning walk, but I cannot do it due to pollution.” In the meanwhile Pragati Maidan is hosting India International Trade Fair from November 14 to 27, 2018 which will attract almost 20,000 to 25,000 visitors each day which will give rise to the vehicle commute and further increase in pollution. Traffic department seems to take some steps for the same but the coming time will tell that how it is effective. The India Meteorological Department (MeT) has predicted that there would be more spells of drizzles in the next 48 hours.
By: Anuja Arora