There is a much bigger perpetrator that is causing the air of Delhi to deter at such hazardous levels. The weather plays a very minute yet a pivotal role in making the air of Delhi hazardous but blaming it sole on weather or the bursting of crackers during Diwali is not the correct way to go about it.
Upon considering various factors that may have induced such smog over Delhi, the results are startling as cracker burst during Diwali adds just a quarter to the smog that has engulfed the city. Stubble burning or crop burning is an age old practice that is widely popular in states like Punjab and Haryana, considered to be the major and hidden culprit that no one is willing to talk about.
Pollution in #Delhi is around the year; even during the warmer months of March-May this year, it did not enjoy a single day of ‘good’ quality air.#DelhiPollutionhttps://t.co/EZmSpVcAjN
📸 Anindya Chattopadhyay/ BCCL Delhi pic.twitter.com/4UP0G3AACr
— The Weather Channel India (@weatherindia) October 31, 2018
But what are the reasons behind this soaring pollution? We tell you:
1. National capital shares its border with the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. One of the main reasons of increasing air pollution levels in Delhi is crop burning by the farmers in these states. Farmers burn rice stubbles in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. It is estimated that approximately 35 million tonnes of crop are set afire by these states. The wind carries all the pollutants and dust particles, which have got locked in the air.
2. Pollution caused by the traffic menace in Delhi is another reason contributing to this air pollution and smog. The air quality index has reached ‘severe’ levels. Vehicular emission is increasing the hazardous effects of air pollution and smog. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) have declared vehicular emission as a major contributor to Delhi’s increasing air pollution.
3. As the winter season sets in, dust particles and pollutants in the air become unable to move. Due to stagnant winds, these pollutants get locked in the air and affect weather conditions, resulting in smog.
4. Another reason of air-pollution is over-population in the capital. Over-population only adds up to the various types of pollution, whether it is air pollution or noise pollution.
5. Investing less on public infrastructure is another reason of air pollution. In India, investment in public transport and infrastructure is low which leads to congested roads, and hence air pollution.
— vineetkhare (@vineetkhare) November 1, 2018
6. Large scale construction in Delhi-NCR is another culprit that is increasing dust and pollution in the air. Considering the dipping air quality, a number of construction sites have stalled work, as directed by the Delhi Government.
7. Industrial pollution and garbage dumps are also increasing air pollution and building-up smog in the air. 8. Despite the ban on cracker sales, firecrackers were a common sight this Diwali. It may not be the top reason for this smog, but it definitely contributed to its build up.