A large section of farmers in Punjab and Haryana are citing their compulsion to burn stubble. As a result, cases of stubble burning are increasing in both the states. The air in Delhi has already started deteriorating and the situation is likely to worsen in the coming days. In view of this situation, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi has also given a warning. Despite serious efforts made under the National Clean Air Program (NCAP), the Ganga plains in India are constantly facing the threat of pollution, according to the latest report by Respir Living Sciences and Climate Trends. According to the report released recently, 7 out of the 10 most polluted cities of India are located in the Ganga plains of Delhi-NCR and Bihar.
The most polluted areas included in the list fall in the National Capital Region of Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and Meerut. Two cities of Bihar are Patna and Muzaffarnagar. Despite the government’s pollution control program Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) being implemented in Delhi-NCR, the level of pollution remains worrying. Delhi has once again emerged as the most polluted city in the country. In this report, the level of PM2.5 measured in Delhi between October 1, 2022 and September 30, 2023, was the highest. This was 3 times higher than CPCB’s recommended level and 20 times higher than WHO’s safe standard.
PM2.5 (fine particulate matter) is widely used to assess the impact of air pollution on health. The data comes through NCAP, which aims to reduce PM2.5 and PM10 levels in Indian cities by 40 percent from 2017 levels by 2024. Delhi’s air quality has declined by 4 percent compared to the previous year. Patna is in second place, where the air quality has deteriorated by 24 percent. Also, Nalbari of Assam, Asansol of West Bengal and Gwalior of Madhya Pradesh have joined the highly polluted cities. The report states that pollution remains at high levels in cities like Delhi during the winter months (October to March), due to several reasons. This includes low temperatures, little or no rainfall, burning of stubble and bursting of crackers. Amidst these challenges, the cleanest air in the country was recorded in IG in Mizoram, Chikmagalur in Karnataka and Mandikheda in Haryana. Although pollution in these cities is below CPCB’s safe air limits, it still exceeds WHO’s safe air guidelines.
In view of the above facts, both the society and the government should take the problem of pollution seriously and think honestly and take concrete steps at their respective levels.
If health is not good and the body is surrounded by diseases, then not only does the person suffer at the personal level, the family and other relatives also have to face stress. It would be better if every person becomes active at his level and becomes a participant in this war against pollution to get clean air.
– Irwin Khanna (Chief Editor, Dainik Uttam Hindu)