02 August, 2021

0 Breathability

Autumn has just set in and Delhi is gasping for a gulp of fresh air already. What awaits the capital in November, the cruelest month when the city’s air quality hits the red zone? Will Delhi clean up its act this year and give its citizens a breather?

0 Breathability

The clock is ticking for Delhi. It’s time, once again, for the haze and smog to tightly wrap the city after the monsoon cleansed the air considerably. The first, ominous signs appeared by end-September. Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) shifted from ‘moderate’ to ‘unhealthy’ even for a relatively clear blue sky. According to AQI data, the capital had only eight ‘satisfactory’ days this September. By mid-October, air quality moved to ‘hazardous’; the state government enforced the graded response action Plan (GRAP), banning diesel generators. Anu Mukarji of Gurgaon, mother of a teenage boy, dreads the annual smokescreen. As the pollution metre cranks up with a nip in the air, respiratory pro­­­­b­­­­lems resurface. “As a parent I feel helpless locking my son indoors. There is a dilemma of choosing between two dev­­ils—indoor and outdoor air. Every year we see a repeat,” she says des­pai­ri­ngly. The foul air triggers bre­­­athlessness,...

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