Delhi Air Pollution has reached hazardous levels. While, Beijing issued a red alert for one day when the air quality became really poor, Delhi struggles to take major steps to curb pollution levels in the national capital. As per Greenpeace, a non-governmental environmental organization, if we followed the same pollution warning system as China does, 29 out of 30 days in November would witness a red alert day.
The capital city of China issued a red alert as the level of coarse particulate matter (PM10) was even higher than 350 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³) and was likely to be high for the next few days. Right from September to November, out of 90 days, Delhi would have 33 red alert days due to hazardous pollution levels.
Not only this, during the past week, when Beijing issued a red alert, the PM2.5 weekly average for Delhi was 230.9 (µg/m³), as compared to the average of Beijing whose air quality stood at 130.9 µg/m³. When the data for few days during the first week of December was compared, the PM2.5 for Delhi was found to be one and a half times higher than Beijing.
With such a high PM2.5 concentration, not only would people with respiratory issues be affected, but it will also have hazardous impacts on healthy residents of Delhi-NCR. As per the data released by WHO, Beijing’s air recorded an annual mean PM2.5 concentration of 56 µg/m³, which is three times less as compared to Delhi’s µg/m³.
While Beijing has already enforced the odd-even formula for private cars, Delhi is yet to implement the system. Questions and concerns have been raised on the enforcement of the formula. The GreenPeace Tribunal has said that people may end up buying two cars if this formula is implemented.
The pace at which air pollution is increasing and winter is rapidly approaching Delhi, severely polluted days in December are most likely to affect the residents.
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