Delhi Air pollution continues to be hazardous
In November 2016, Delhi turned into a gas chamber as it faced worst smog in 17 years. If you thought Delhi's air is clean now, central pollution control board real time data shows otherwise. Delhi air pollution continues to be hazardous. Another winter, straw stubble burning by farmers, bursting of crackers around Diwali and marriage season will turn Delhi into gas chamber again. 14 Indian cities including Delhi figure in top 30 polluting cities in the world. The air in these cities contains dangerous particulate matter, small enough to enter the human bloodstream through lungs. Air pollution causes estimated 7 million premature deaths per annum globally. A study by US-based institute claims an estimated 1.1 million premature deaths in India in 2015 by worsening air pollution.
As per the study conducted by IITK, in winter the main contributors of PM10 include secondary particles 25%, vehicles 20%, biomass burning 17%, soil and road dust 13% and MSW burning 9%. In summer the main contributors of PM10 include coal & fly ash 37%, soil & road dust 26%, secondary particles 10%, MSW burning 9%, biomass burning 7% and vehicles 6%.
In winter the main contributors of PM2.5 include secondary particles 30%, vehicles 25%, biomass burning 26%, MSW burning 8%, soil and road dust 3.5%. In summer the main contributors of PM2.5 include coal & fly ash 26%, soil & road dust 27%, secondary particles 15%, MSW burning 7%, biomass burning 12% and vehicles 9%.
Given above facts, it is noteworthy that following immediate measures can help reduce air pollution in Delhi:
Ban on allowing coal and plastic (sorted from MSW) as fuel in industries and restaurants/ hotels. Close visibly polluting units on-spot.
A ban on open burning of MSW, cow-dung, and wood.
Better pollution control equipment at thermal power plants and waste to energy power plants.
Proper maintenance and vacuum sweeping of all roads.
Plant trees and small shrubs, perennial forages, grass covers and decorate roadsides with pebbles.
Strict emission standards for vehicles and impounding visibly polluting vehicles on-spot.
Strict norms to cover the construction site and construction material during its transportation.
Strict norms for storage, transportation, and transfer of volatile organic compounds and Municipal waste.
Encourage farmers to use straw stubble for making compost or biogas.
Remove encroachment and enforce lane driving.