A thick layer of smog enveloped the Indian capital on Monday. Residents complained of difficulty breathing and itchy eyes. The Delhi authorities are trying to fight smog by launching additional means of public transport, which is intended to encourage people to give up traveling by car.
The air quality in Delhi on Monday morning was in the ‘very poor’ category. The index informing about the amount of pollution was 306. The air quality has deteriorated since Sunday evening, when the index reached no more than 266 – reported the Hindustan Times.
As explained by Environment Minister Gopal Rai, the deterioration of air quality is caused by a drop in air temperature and a decrease in wind speed, as a result of which pollutants are unable to move up the atmosphere and remain close to the ground.
“I really felt it in my eyes.”
“I think the pollution level has been increasing since the last 10-12 days, but today I could really feel it in my eyes,” said Sanjay Choudhary, who used a bicycle while riding through the city on Monday.
– I have difficulty breathing properly – vegetable seller Karan Singh complained to journalists. – We want to appeal to the government to reduce pollution – he added.
Requests to use public transport
In response to the significantly deteriorated air quality, the second stage of the so-called GRAP (Graded Response Action Plan) was implemented, which assumes various types of measures to combat pollution in the autumn and winter seasons. Staying thick smog over Delhi at this time of year is often associated with stubble burning in neighboring states. Authorities called for an increase in the number of metro trains and the number of electric buses on the streets on Monday. Commuters were encouraged to use public transport.
The Indian Minister of the Environment stated that the coming weeks will be crucial from the point of view of air quality, among others, due to the Hindu festivals of Dasara and Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, celebrated on October 24 and November 12, respectively.
Last year, the lighting of fireworks and fireworks during the November holiday was banned for fear of increasing pollution, but many residents ignored these restrictions. Rai assured that the government is making every effort to ensure that the situation from last year, when air quality deteriorated rapidly, does not repeat itself. – We have no influence on the weather, but the sources of pollution can be controlled – he added.
Delhi is the most polluted capital in the world. Every year in India, around seven million people die from smog-related causes.
Reuters, Hindustan Times, tvnmeteo.pl
Main photo source: Reuters