Delhi on Wednesday witnessed the worst spell of smog in 17 years, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said.
Experts said the situation should be now treated as an emergency and effort should be made to protect children and the old. “This demands emergency response to protect the vulnerable — those who are suffering from respiratory and heart diseases and children. The government should aggressively inform all and advise them to stay indoors and avoid outdoor exercises. At the same time, it should roll out stringent winter pollution control for all sources along with emergency action,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said Wednesday’s smog is the worst that the city has witnessed in a long time, and visibility last hit this low in late 90s.
At the Indira Gandhi International Airport the visibility was as low as 300-400 metres. The period between 11am and 2.30pm was the worst in the day with respect to airport visibility.
The post-Diwali smog reduced the visibility there to 800-1,200m since October 30. Pollution during Diwali, other sources of pollution along with weather-related factors lead to such abnormal levels.
CSE’s analysis of post-Diwali pollution levels have also showed that the level of the toxic smog in the city has spiked compared to Diwali day.
The level of particulate matter finer than 2.5 micrometers was 62.7% percentage higher than the levels on Sunday.