Public Health Crisis: Health Emergency due to Delhi Air Pollution

The increased pollution in Delhi turned into a Public Health crisis. The Supreme Court decreed panel declared health emergency due to a hike in Delhi air pollution on November 1, 2019.

Dip in Air Quality

Central Board of Pollution Control revealed the recorded Air Quality index late Thursday night. The overall AQI was 459 in the capital which falls in the severe category. Bhure Lal, chairman of Environment Prevention Control Authority announced that the AQI reached severe plus category on Friday morning and came down to severe. Bawana area in Delhi declared as the most polluted city with PM 2.5 and AQI of 497. Followed by Delhi Technical University area with AQI 487 and Wazirpur area at 485.

N95 Masks Distributed

To combat this emergency, the government took steps to protect around two crore residents from the ill effects of the pollution. Under the Graded Response Action Plan around 50 lakh good quality masks (N95) were distributed.  Schools remained closed till November 5 keeping in mind children’s health. 

Child Wearing Mask to Combat Air Pollution

Odd-Even Scheme

The odd-even scheme started from 4 November and will continue till 15 November. However, Odd-Even will not be valid on 11th and 12th November on account of Guru Nanak Jayanti. In addition, EPCA has banned bursting crackers for the entire winter season.

Construction and Industries in Delhi

Taking into account the severe pollution, the government has banned the working of the hot mix plants and stones crushers in Delhi, Faridabad, Noida, Gurugram and Ghaziabad till 5 November. Earlier this condition prevailed only for a limited time from 6 pm to 10 am. In addition to this, all coal-based industries to remain closed in the NCR towns of Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Sonepat, and Bahadurgarh. Moreover, the Delhi government started 300 private buses to strengthen the transport system for decreasing the use of private vehicles.

Future Expectations

Experts at the Weather department said that the Western winds will disperse the pollution from the northern region. The air pollution from stubble burning and Diwali crackers would blow away in a weeks time.

In spite of government efforts to stop the emission of pollution at ground level, there is no positive result seen. The air quality dropped to three years low which is an alarming situation. Cloud of toxic air covers the city.

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