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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Why There Is So Much Pollution in Delhi?

Recently, Delhi topped the list of the most polluted cities on the planet. It happened when it’s Air Quality Index soared to 999, deeming the city the most polluted zone in the world. The deteriorating air quality has caused many mishaps like car accidents and unforeseen circumstances like flight cancellations and train delays.

Sitting at home, if you are still left wondering exactly how bad is Delhi Pollution, then here is a current statistic. Hospitals have had to deal with a 20 percent increase in patients with respiratory illnesses that are a direct result of worsening Delhi pollution level. In fact, the capital’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal called Delhi a ‘gas chamber’ and reminded of the urgency to deal with this pressing issue that has widespread implications.

Why is New Delhi Pollution on an All-Time High?

Everyone residing in Delhi is mentally and physically distressed by the worsening air quality. It shows no signs of abating anytime soon. A common question in the minds of its citizens is Delhi going to improve pollution?’ and more importantly, exactly what is the cause of this undying pollution. Well, there is not one, but many causes behind it.

  1. Crop burning

  2. Vehicular traffic

  3. Mix of rural and urban pollution

  4. Over population and a lack of public infrastructure

1.   Crop Burning

Crops being burnt

Crops being burnt, Credit: Canva

Crop burning by the farmers in the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh is one of the primary reasons behind the increasing air pollution in the capital. Around 35 million tonnes of rice stubbles are burned in these states. The pollutants and dust particles, as a result are carried by the wind towards Delhi and become locked in its air.

2.   Vehicular Traffic

Traffic pollution

Vehicular traffic, Credit: Canva

Everyone agrees that the traffic of Delhi is terrible, to say the least. According to delhi pollution control committee, vehicular emission is another leading cause of the threatening pollution levels. It is because of these emissions, that the air quality index has touched ‘severe’ levels in this city. Hence, there is an urgent need to find ways to reduce the intensity of traffic in the capital.

3.   Mix of Rural and Urban Pollution

Rural urban pollution

Urban pollution, Credit: Canva

A huge layer of smog that blankets Delhi is the result of the smoke of the burning crops in the neighbouring states getting mixed with the vehicular emission that is present inside the city. It makes a deadly combination and becomes dangerous during the winter months.

4.   Over Population and a Lack of Public Infrastructure


Overcrowded city, Credit: Canva

Delhi is an overpopulated city. It leads to increasing traffic as well as the spread of air and noise pollution. Moreover, the public transport and infrastructure is not adequate to accommodate the rising population. It leads to congested roads which ultimately paves the way for the air pollution reaching hazardous levels.

How Can You Contribute to Reducing Delhi’s Pollution?

Planting trees

Person planting a tree, Credit: Canva

Unless the citizens and government come together and carry out effective measures, Delhi’s air pollution levels are likely to remain high. Here is what you can do on your part to save the environment.

  1. Use public transport instead of using your personal transport more often.

  2. Dump your garbage in a municipal body dumping site for garbage instead of burning them.

  3. Use an inverter during power outages.

  4. If you have to cover short distances, walk or cycle instead of using a vehicle.

The threats posed by these unusual levels of air pollution levels are often brought to the notice of common people when they watch the Delhi pollution news on their televisions. In spite of repeated warnings of this sort, people fail to take the requisite measures. It is high time that both Delhi’s government and citizens unite to make the capital a more safe and breathable place.

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