Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
An Indian Air Force soldier drinks tea as he stands guard next to rifles during a break at the rehearsal for the Republic Day parade on a cold winter morning in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. VOA

Indian authorities have ordered firefighters in the capital to sprinkle water from high-rise buildings to settle dust and stop garbage fires and have banned construction activity as hazardous air quality affects millions of people.

New Delhi recorded one of the highest pollution levels of the year on Sunday with the air quality index, measuring sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, touching 450.


The air started improving Wednesday with an increase in wind speed. However, the level of PM 2.5, tiny particulate matter that can dangerously clog lungs, exceeded 320 on Thursday, more than 13 times beyond what the World Health Organization considers safe, according to the U.S. Embassy reading.


People take early morning walk amid smog in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. In the Indian capital, the air quality hovered between severe and very poor this week posing a serious health hazard for millions of people. VOA

Diesel engines, coal plants

A government advisory asked people to avoid jogging outdoor and use masks. The government has banned diesel vehicles that are more than 10 years old. It also ordered builders to cover construction sites to stop dust enveloping the area.

“There are so many cars … there is so much dust. It all goes inside (our body). If we don’t wear a mask then we face a lot of (health) problems,” said Om Prakash, a traffic police constable wearing a protective mask on a New Delhi road.

India’s air pollution comes mostly from diesel-fuel-burning vehicles, coal-fired power plants and crop burning. It worsens in the dry winters, as winds die down and pollution pools over the Delhi plains.

Vehicular smog mixes with smoke from festival-season fireworks as well as countless illegal pyres of garbage burned by homeless migrants to stay warm as temperatures near freezing. And the construction sends up clouds of dust.


A man rides his bicycle in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. VOA

Winter air quality poor

Vivek Chattopadhyaya, a senior program manager with New Delhi-based Center for Science and Environment, said that air quality most of the days in and around the Indian capital during the winter season was “very poor, poor and severe.”

“Delhi’s air quality, when we say improvement, what we notice is that it falls from severe to very poor days. None of the days are good, satisfactory or even moderately polluted,” he said. “We need to meet the quality standards, which are the safest standards for the people to breathe air. So that should be our target.”

Also Read: Toxic Air of Delhi Prompting People To Quit City

The Indian capital saw some success following a 1998-2003 program that removed power plants from the city center and adopted compressed natural gas, CNG, for running buses and rickshaws. The buses had run on diesel and the rickshaws on gasoline and highly polluting kerosene. Of all possible fuels, CNG releases the smallest amounts of particulate matter.

But years later the pollution levels are back up. (VOA)


Popular

Kishu Inu and Dogelon Mars are some of the more popular canine coins in recent months. Their popularity is demonstrated by the vast amount of trading volume that these cryptocurrencies receive.

At the time of writing, Kishu Inu has a trading volume exceeding $10 million and Dogelon Mars has an even larger trading volume that surpasses $30 million.

Keep Reading Show less

HUH Token

It’s here, and it appears that there ain’t nothin’ or no one stopping the skyrocketing force of HUH Token and the release of the long-awaited White Paper is finally here and we’re living for it.

It’s also great to note that Shiba Inu made a triumphant crypto market return this week and the reign of the dog continues though with HUH Token’s White Paper release it could see the ‘Utimeme’ token break out of the atmosphere on its December 6th launch and surpass Shiba Inu for altcoin supremacy.

Keep Reading Show less

HUH Token

HUH Token has been on the lips of crypto lovers for some time now and the much-anticipated White Paper release is here, right now, today!

Not only this but Shiba Inu’s mastery of the altcoin world could be coming to an end on HUH Token’s December 6th release if the aims, goals and technology in the White Paper are anything to go by.

Keep reading... Show less