No escape for pollutants, no respite for Delhi-NCR
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No escape for pollutants, no respite for Delhi-NCR

Eye, skin and throat irritation, wheezing, coughing are common complaints.

No escape for pollutants, no respite for Delhi-NCR

For everyone, Diwali brings cheers to our life. In the festive spirit and the revelry associated with the festival of lights, people forget all their woes. But, for the last few years, the residents of Gurugram, are experiencing a depression in the aftermath of the festival season as if paying a price for all our festive indulgences. 

The reason is the steady decline in the air quality. This time around, post Diwali, the residents are witness to a steep decline in air quality index (AQI) from ‘severe’ and ‘hazardous’ category.

According to air quality experts, this phenomenon owes it to the complex situation where the overcast conditions lead to accumulation of local pollutants amalgamated with toxic pollutants including nitrous oxide, oxides of sulfur, cadmium, Mn and other metal particles which released from crackers. 

“All of these pollutants, at the moment, are not finding an escape route. Their constant accumulation is worsening the situation,” said Sachin Panwar, an independent air quality expert.

While the experts say that the situation should get better only if it rains (precipitate) or strong winds which help in dissipation of clouds along with the pollutants. 

“In any case within, next 48 to 72 hours, this situation shall improve a bit. Currently, the direction of wind being north-west of the Delhi-NCR the smoke originating from stubble burning in the direction is adding to the smog-filled atmosphere here. So, we are at mercy of weather,” Panwar added.

Due to the dramatic rise in the pollution soon after Diwali, civil hospitals have been recording 10 to 15 new respiratory cases (difficulty in breathing and other respiratory ailments) every day,. On Thursday, the AQI at 272 was of very unhealthy category. While the figure for Wednesday was 368.

Eye irritation, skin and throat irritation, wheezing, coughing and other complaints related respiratory system are common in the region. Those who are fond of morning walks had to abruptly stop venturing out, albeit grudgingly, in the wake of the worsening atmospherics. 

Sukant Joshi, a resident of sector 34, said, “I am an ardent morning walker. During the morning walks I can meet people. However, I have stopped going out for last three-four days as I had difficulty in breathing in this environment. My doctor has advised me to avoid morning walks and wear mark in the current situation.”

Other factors that adding to the atmospheric pollution include rampant open burning and dust generating roads.

All the aforementioned pollutants have formed a layer of smog across the city’s atmosphere resulting in low visibility. Many spotted using headlights of their vehicle late afternoon on Thursday.

“At 4 pm, the visibility on the roads was the lowest due to the smoggy surroundings. Every year after Diwali, we are witness to the situation despite all the individual and administrative efforts to popularize green Diwali haved failed,” lamented Harsh Khandelwal, a resident of Sushant Lok.