To breathe the air in and around Delhi where millions of people live, is like smoking 50 cigarettes a day due to the smog’s particles and toxic chemicals. Doctors have declared a public health emergency due to a 20% increase in patients admitted to hospitals with pollution-related illnesses. As of this time, Delhi can officially claim the dubious honour of being the most polluted city on the planet. Air Quality Index reaches above 400~500 and sometimes goes beyond 1000 which is not even measurable by Air Quality monitoring machines. Delhi’s adjoining areas like Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad and Gurugram have more or less similar situation.
Here are the major known causes of Pollution in Delhi and its surroundings :
1. Crop stubble Burning in states like Punjab, Haryana and certain parts of Uttar Pradesh is know to be the major cause of Pollution in Delhi. To clear the rice fields, paddy crop burning is typically the cheapest option and farmers around Delhi’s neighboring states don’t want to pay any more than they have to.
2. India’s pollution stems from politics. MSP also know as Minimum Support Price is another major cause in which whenever the market price of a crop drops below the MSP, the government is obligated to buy the crop from the farmers at the MSP. The central government’s food procurement policy, which includes regular increases in MSP, has guaranteed farmers high profits from paddy-wheat production. Therefore, Punjab switched from a wheat-maize cropping pattern that was better suited to the region’s agroclimatic conditions to a paddy-wheat pattern, which is unsustainable on both ecological and economic grounds.
3. Traffic in and around Delhi NCR is also blamed for Pollution in Delhi as vehicles have to pass through Delhi to reach other destinations like Noida, Ghaziabad to Gurugram or Faridabad or vice versa. Though Peripheral Expressway has helped a in this regard but many bypass expressway are required to avoid unnecessary road traffic in Delhi.
4. Winter season in Northern part of the India. People burn wood, paper and even plastic and rubber tyres too keep themselves warm in winters which ultimately contributes in increasing the Pollution. According to the experts Tandoor on road side and established restaurants add their contribution too in increasing the Air Pollution.
5. Supreme Court blames Fire Crackers burnt during Diwali to be the cause of Pollution and bans it every year but as per experts its contribution is almost negligible in increasing the Pollution as Pollution persists even before Diwali and months after Diwali as well.