Post-Diwali burning of fire-crackers, Indian cities are facing severe deterioration in air quality.
Delhi recorded its worst air quality of the year on the morning after Diwali as the pollution level entered ‘severe-plus emergency’ category. The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was estimated at 805.
Delhi is neither an exception nor the Diwali night; as winter sets in the northern Indian states are engulfed under thick haze causing huge disruptions in normal life and in the communication system. Trains and flights are either cancelled or run late causing huge economic loss.
This is disturbing, especially, after the news that air quality across the world is improving. Earth’s protective ozone layer that protects us from the sun’s harmful radiation is healing from damage caused by aerosol sprays and coolants, a new United Nations report said.
According to the UN study, ‘Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2018’, the upper ozone layer above the Northern Hemisphere should be completely repaired by the 2030s and the gaping Antarctic ozone hole should disappear by the 2060s.
The UN report claims that this is due to internationally agreed actions carried out under the Montreal Protocol that came into being some 30 years ago in response to the revelation that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting elements were tearing a hole in the ozone layer and allowing dangerous ultraviolet radiation to flood through.
Air pollution in Indian cities turns severe to severe-plus emergency category
These are good news. For, as many as nine in 10 people on earth breathe highly polluted air, and more than 80% of urban inhabitants endure outdoor pollution that exceeds health standard according to WHO’s World Global Ambient Air Quality Database.
But even among countries suffering from air pollution, India stands out as one that is consistently witnessing degradation in air quality. With daily averages already in the “very unhealthy” range, 2018 seems set to continue with the same pattern.
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Novembeb, 15-30, 2018