What about smog and air pollution?

What about smog and air pollution?


For a national capital as leafy, low-built and spread out as New Delhi is, the startling pollution levels reported in the city  come as a surprise.

Particulate matter as measured by the PM2.5 index is up to 70 times the safe limit set by the World Health Organisation.

Recently, the air quality index topped 999 micrograms per cubic m, beyond what the city’s instruments can measure.

The cool season months from November to February are the cruellest: A powdery haze cloaks the city and visibility drops to a few hundred metres. The damage done to the human lung, especially of the very young, is incalculable. Those who can, like senior diplomats, seek to escape the city. Surely, this is no way to live.

Severely polluted cities are not an Indian monopoly.

Beijing’s pollution woes match, and sometimes exceed, New Delhi’s. Earlier this year, dozens of flights to Beijing were cancelled after a sandstorm raised the level of particulate matter in the city. The cities of Baoding and Xingtai have even worse pollution, just as three other Indian cities have pollution levels that often exceed New Delhi’s.

The WHO estimates that 92 per cent of the world’s population live in places where its air quality guidelines are not met. Several million people a year die premature deaths on account of this. Another three billion people are at serious risk from indoor smoke because of coal and biomass fuels used for cooking and heating.

The solutions stare people in the face. Reduced dependence on private transport, stricter emissions standards on vehicles, curbing diesel engines, switching from carbon-based fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources, turning down the heating in winter a few notches, and conversely, cooling in summer. Every little bit helps.

Beyond lie more complex issues: lifestyle changes, water conservation and alternative development models that reduce the fixation on gross domestic product growth at any cost.

The exciting news in the 21st century is that advances in a variety of fields, from solar energy to the hydrogen fuel cell and battery technology, hold out reasonable prospects of a clean energy future.

yours truly

Singh Aporen, Kohima

12 Responses to "What about smog and air pollution?"

  1. Priya Jyotsna   December 4, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Smog is basically derived from the merging of two words; smoke and fog. Smog is also used to describe the type of fog which has smoke or soot in it. Smog is a yellowish or blackish fog formed mainly by a mixture of pollutants in the atmosphere which consists of fine particles and ground level ozone. Smog which occurs mainly because of air pollution, can also be defined as a mixture of various gases with dust and water vapor. The bad news on bad air seems to get worse by the day. Air pollution causes one in nine early deaths, according to the World Health Organization. It is a major health concern in both rich and poor countries.

  2. yashswini Tiwary   December 3, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Delhi has earned the unenviable distinction of becoming the most polluted city on Earth this month, as air quality has reached epically bad proportions.

    On November 8, pollution surged so high that some monitoring stations reported an Air Quality Index of 999, way above the upper limit of the worst category, HazardousUnited Airlines canceled its flights to India’s capital because of poor air quality. Visibility was so bad that cars crashed in pileups on highways and trains had to be delayed and canceled.

  3. Nishant   November 30, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Capital should be as guidelines to other cities or town. But unfortunately, it is making an image of our country as polluted place and unsafe place which is somewhere indirectly influencing our tourism.

  4. Shristy sonal   November 29, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Delhi has earned the unenviable distinction of becoming the most polluted city on Earth , as air quality has reached epically bad proportions.As India debates on right to clean air, governments across the world have woken up to the devastating effects of air pollution and are working towards correcting the trend.

  5. Akanksha   November 25, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    “what a man made of man”, It is very regretful that Delhi is going through smog and air pollution these days, this is only due the damages that we done to our mother nature in the past several years, still if we don’t stop then in the coming future we will don’t have the place to survive like earth indeed.

  6. fazal karim   November 25, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    As we see day by day the condition in going through worst.our cities getting polluted and it is difficult to survive.it is up to us to take some responsibility to make the cities pollution free

  7. Kushboo kumari   November 25, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    It is harmful to humans, animals,plants and the nature as a whole. The less gasoline we burn,the better we’re doing to reduce these pollution and harmful affects of climate change.

  8. Priyanka   November 24, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Pollution has become that major problem nowadays and we are responsible for this. Our country’s capital has become the pollution capital . So now if we want to live a healthy life we have to become more responsible towards our mother earth.

  9. Neha BMC -2   November 23, 2017 at 10:28 am

    The conditions are getting worse day by day… It’s not only about Delhi.. It’s about our planet….and we have to do something and take a step ahead instead of depending on others…. Do as much as possible and contribute for making PLANET beautiful.

  10. Sunisha kumari patel   November 22, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    The capital is going through the worst. Pollution has made the life hard in the capital . Sorry to say ,but it has become difficult to survive there day by day.People are migrating from Delhi to their native place just to live a healthier life because pollution is causing many health related diseases .

  11. Nihal kumar dutta   November 22, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    The national capital has become pollution capital! This shows how we are responsible for destruction of ourselves. First water, Now air

  12. Raj Nandini   November 22, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    It is very sad to see our cities in such conditions. Even our resources are turning into nightmare for us. To live healthier we have to immigrate for our cities and birth places.


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