Sat. Dec 2nd, 2023
The Causes of Delhi’s Severe Air Quality

Delhi is currently facing a severe air quality crisis, with PM2.5 pollutants in Sriniwaspuri reaching a staggering 558 – which is 37 times higher than the upper limit set by the World Health Organization. The deteriorating air quality has raised concerns among residents and experts alike.

Satellite images have revealed that one of the primary sources of the increased pollution in Delhi is stubble burning and farm fires in the neighboring state of Punjab. These fires have seen a significant surge in the last six days, exacerbating the air pollution problem in Delhi.

Stubble burning refers to the practice of farmers burning the residue of crops, particularly paddy stubble, after harvesting. This practice is commonly followed to clear the fields quickly for the next sowing season. However, the burning of stubble releases large amounts of smoke and pollutants into the atmosphere, contributing significantly to air pollution.

Apart from stubble burning, Delhi also suffers from other sources of pollution, such as vehicular emissions, industrial emissions, construction activities, and dust particles. These combined factors have created a toxic mix of pollutants that pose a threat to public health and the environment.

The severe air pollution in Delhi has prompted the authorities to take various steps to address the issue. The government has implemented measures like the odd-even vehicle scheme, which restricts the usage of private vehicles on alternate days based on their license plate numbers. Additionally, construction activities have been closely monitored and regulated to minimize dust pollution.

Efforts are also underway to encourage farmers to adopt alternatives to stubble burning, such as using machines that can help in managing crop residue effectively. These initiatives aim to reduce the practice of stubble burning and, subsequently, the pollution levels in Delhi.

In conclusion, the severe air pollution in Delhi is primarily caused by stubble burning and farm fires in Punjab, as indicated by satellite images. However, it is essential to acknowledge that the overall air quality problem in Delhi is multifaceted, with multiple sources contributing to the pollution levels. Tackling these sources effectively requires sustained efforts and the cooperation of all stakeholders involved.