Other States

Pollution chokes, blinds Capital

A view of firecrackers garbage after Deliites celebrate Deepavali festival, in West Delhi on Monday.  

Delhiites breathed in more polluted air this Diwali compared to the last. And if that wasn’t bad enough, government data showed that levels of harmful pollutants in the air peaked at 14 to 16 times the amounts considered safe for humans.

On Monday morning, the national capital woke up to heavy smog that not only made breathing difficult but affected visibility, leading to traffic accidents.

Vehicle collisions

About half-a-dozen vehicles reportedly collided on the Delhi-Noida-Direct (DND) flyway in the early morning hours of Monday. No casualty was reported in the collision.

Giving out the details, Amarnath Yadav, station house officer, Sector 20 said, “We received information of around six cars were damaged in a collision one by one due to zero visibility. All the cars were moving and the collision might have occurred when one of them had applied brakes.”

As per weather reports, pollution remained ‘severe’, the highest warning level, all through Sunday and Monday. According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the comparatively lower wind speed and mixing height meant that pollutants did not disperse as easily as last Diwali.

However, the CBCB said in a statement: “The level of pollutants has increased significantly in all places irrespective of parameters attributed to unfavourable meteorological conditions during the entire period.”

For instance, the hourly concentration of PM10, or coarse particles, peaked at a whopping 1,680 micrograms per cubic at Anand Vihar at 3.30 a.m., according to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee. This is over 16 times the standard of 100 g/m3. The level of the finer and more harmful PM2.5 too peaked at Anand Vihar, at 883 g/m3 at 2.30 a.m. This was over 14 times the standard of 60 g/m3.

While Delhi struggled with severe pollution during the day on Monday, activists said the government had not done enough to combat winter pollution in general.

“The pollution levels are record-breaking high. But they tell us what we already know and what we are ignoring, that we need to take action. The government forgets till it is winter and then its too late to do anything,” said Sunita Narain, the director of the Centre for Science and Environment. She said that court and National Green Tribunal orders on the ongoing burning of crop residue in neighbouring states and the movement of highly-polluting commercial vehicles through Delhi had not been fully enforced by the Delhi Government.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 2:38:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Pollution-chokes-blinds-Capital/article16086188.ece

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