The air quality in Delhi has been continuously deteriorating, with the air quality index (AQI) remaining in the ‘severe’ category for several consecutive days. This decline in air quality is attributed to various factors, including vehicular emissions and smoke from crop burning in neighboring states.
Recent satellite images from NASA indicate that air pollution is not limited to Delhi alone. The images captured by the Worldview satellite reveal a layer of toxic smog extending from Pakistan to the Bay of Bengal. This suggests that other states in North India may also be experiencing similar air quality problems.
The smog that stretches from Punjab to the Bay of Bengal may be a result of multiple polluting factors, including the increased incidents of crop burning in Punjab and Haryana. NASA data shows a staggering 740% rise in farm fires in northern India, with 1,068 cases of stubble burning reported in Punjab on October 29 alone.
Meanwhile, the AQI in Delhi has reached alarming levels, with many areas reporting ‘severe’ air quality. In response, the authorities have implemented Stage 4 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP-IV), which includes measures such as banning diesel trucks and suspending construction activities in the city. The Delhi government has also instructed schools to conduct online classes instead of physical classes.
Recognizing the severity of the situation, the Supreme Court has directed the governments of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan to urgently address the issue and take necessary steps to control crop burning.
The impact of air pollution extends beyond the capital, affecting not just Delhi but also other states in the region. It is imperative for the concerned authorities to prioritize and implement effective measures to combat this growing problem and safeguard public health.