If you walk down the street in Delhi, you can only see a few feet in front of you. You can not only smell the air, you can taste it. And, it’s only getting worse. The pollution has caused the air quality to decline so rapidly; that according to Berkeley Earth Science, it’s like smoking 44 cigarettes in one day. Where so many people work, live, and children play-how is this being corrected? Or can it be, as the population continues to grow?
CNN has been covering this crisis with live footage that appears as if the air is pure smoke. Masks are seen on everyone who tries to maintain some sense of normalcy.
Delhi’s government has banned all even number (tag) cars off the roads on odd number days and odd numbered cars off the roads on even days in an attempt to help clear the toxic air. Delhi’s air has been compared to living in a gas chamber. There are people complaining of their throats literally burning. 20 million people face this every day.
There are 8.5 million cars in Delhi on the roads and another 1400 come into the city every day. As the city rushes to work, citizens are faced to be out in this pollution while commuting every day. There is a ban on diesel vehicles and very high taxes on commercial trucks coming into the city. Exhaust fumes coming from all the older trucks at night causes the day air to be very polluted.
The World Health Organization has said Delhi’s air is the most polluted on the planet. Where the 25 mark on the scale is deemed unfit- Delhi’s air tops the 1000 mark on the air-quality on the US Embassy index. The particles in the air are large enough to do severe damage to the lungs and organs.
Steps are being taken for car-free days. A plan was submitted to the UN last month for 20% of India’s energy to come from fossil fuel sources.
Delhi’s police chef has shut down all public and private schools, banned all in-coming trucks, and halted civil construction of any kind.
Doctors are warning of long-term health implications. Deepak Rosha (pulmonologist) at Apollo Hospital said, “The number of patients being admitted is growing every day, obviously. I don’t think it has ever been this bad and I am so angry it has come to this.”
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