POS­SI­BLE CAUSES

Libertatem Magazine - - Smog Situation In Delhi -

1.The Weather

The weather con­di­tions pre­vail­ing in the cap­i­tal were touted as one of the big­gest rea­sons for the den­sity and sever­ity of the smog. The end of the month of Oc­to­ber is usu­ally the time when win­ter be­gins to set in the city of Delhi. This means that the speed of the winds is sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced and the tem­per­a­tures also be­gin to drop. The re­sult of a com­bi­na­tion of the two is in­stead of the smog par­ti­cles be­ing con­stantly blown away and scat­tered by the wind, they be­gin to col­lect and so­lid­ify in their own place, lead­ing to the in­creased den­sity of the smog. Ad­di­tion­ally, is also the fact that the air of Delhi is so pol­luted all year round that it does not have any ad­di­tional ca­pac­ity to to bear the added pol­lu­tion from the crack­ers and crop burn­ing, among other sources of air pol­lu­tion in the city.

2.Crop Burn­ing

One of the prac­tices used by farm­ers to clear the land for agri­cul­tural pur­poses is crop burn­ing. Es­sen­tially, its a process in which the farm­ers set fire to the crops/trees/plants grow­ing in a cer­tain area of land in a con­trolled way such that only the de­sired amount of area is cleared while the rest of the area re­mains cov­ered in veg­e­ta­tion. One of the ma­jor reper­cus­sions of this process is the re­lease of var­i­ous gases in the air from the burn­ing of such veg­e­ta­tion. Since, Pun­jab is one of the ma­jor agri­cul­tural cen­ters in In­dia, this prac­tice is highly preva­lent in those parts. The prox­im­ity of Pun­jab to Delhi and the mass scale burn­ing of crops in the area is be­lieved to be one of the pri­mary causes of the smog. The Akali Dal, which is the rul­ing party in Pun­jab has also been blamed for not tak­ing strin­gent ac­tions against such ac­tiv­i­ties ow­ing to the up­com­ing elec­tions.

3.The Crack­ers Burst Dur­ing Di­wali

Burst­ing of crack­ers dur­ing the fes­ti­val of Di­wali is a com­mon prac­tice in ev­ery house­hold, es­pe­cially in the North­ern parts of In­dia. How­ever, the in­dis­crim­i­nate burn­ing of such crack­ers is one of the big­gest sources of the re­lease of nox­ious gasses and pol­lu­tants into the at­mos­phere. This year saw huge cam­paigns be­ing un­der­taken by the gov­ern­ment and pri­vate par­ties alike to spread aware­ness about the ill ef­fects of burst­ing fire­works. A ma­jor­ity of the cit­i­zens took pledges to cel­e­brate Di­wali in an eco-friendly man­ner by avoid­ing pur­chas­ing crack­ers. How­ever, all such ef­forts and pledges went up in smoke on the eve of Di­wali as the evening af­ter, when most of the res­i­dents took to the streets burst­ing the very same crack­ers that they had promised to re­frain from. Delhi is known both for its im­mense pop­u­la­tion and its ex­treme pol­lu­tion and when such a vast num­ber of peo­ple con­trib­ute to the re­lease of even more pol­lu­tants into an al­ready over-pol­luted air, then the re­sult is as dis­as­trous as the smog cov­er­ing the city of Delhi the day suc­ceed­ing Di­wali.

THE REPER­CUS­SIONS

As has al­ready been dis­cussed above, the en­tire city of Delhi came to a stand­still as the vis­i­bil­ity on the streets re­duced to al­most zero and in­her­ently the chances of a road ac­ci­dent went up dras­ti­cally. The num­ber of peo­ple suf­fer­ing from breath­ing re­lated med­i­cal con­di­tions also shot up as­tro­nom­i­cally and schools and of­fices had to re­main shut for a num­ber of days to en­sure traf­fic on the streets is re­duced ad no un­to­ward road ac­ci­dents oc­cur. The gov­ern­ment also tried to take steps to re­duce the smog to ac­cept­able stan­dards but not much could be done apart from let­ting na­ture take its course and let­ting the smog nat­u­rally clear away.

CON­CLU­SION

The smog sit­u­a­tion cre­ated in Delhi, even though tem­po­rary, served as a huge re­minder that the air in Delhi is al­ready pol­luted to its max­i­mum and it is high time that se­ri­ous steps are taken to bring the pol­lu­tion lev­els un­der check. The smog also served as a wakeup call for all those who were up un­til now un­der the as­sump­tion that air pol­lu­tion is way more hyped than it should be. If the smog for a few days could wreak such havoc in the lives of the peo­ple, fur­ther air pol­lu­tion could be cat­a­strophic for the peo­ple as well as the nation and hence it is in the best in­ter­ests of every­one that sin­cere ef­forts be made to curb the men­ace of air pol­lu­tion.

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