In the aftermath of Diwali the pollution levels in the capital have not shown an abrupt rise, unlike the last year’s sharp fall in the air quality index.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court had imposed a ban on the sale of fire crackers in Delhi and the National Capital Region in a bid to find answers whether the reduction in particulate matter and smoke from the celebrations in the region would affect the air quality or not,
The ban on the sale though saw a subversive trade of fire crackers, the notable effect as seen in the Delhi/NCR region has given a reply to the authorities and the people.
The stubble burning reports based on the satellite inputs from NASA had shown a large tract of land from Lahore in Pakistan to Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, being put under the stubble burning by farmers.
This study had also shown the geographic position of Delhi and the NCR as being one of a sink for the air from its surrounding areas, which does not let the air disperse through other areas, while making the Delhi/ NCR breathe in the polluted air.
This year the EPCA had monitored the ambient air quality at 11 centres including Mother Dairy at Pratap Vihar, New Delhi.
The EPCA suggests that the ambient air quality this year has remained better in all aspects as compared from the air quality last year. The varying levels of pollution in the air cannot be only attributed to a ban on the sale of crackers.
Last year the Diwali fell on the 30th of October, while this year it fell earlier. The agricultural stubble burning has just begun and also the factor that has not been noticed is the slow pace of real estate development in the region which has spared the air also.
The Director of Cardiology and Pulmonary Diseases at AIIMS, has also asserted that the immediate reading of the air quality are not always decisive. He also added that pollution being a natural outcome based on natural phenomenon, the precise situation may only be assessed on Monday. though he stated that as of yesterday, the inflow of patients was not as grave as the previous year but there may be a rise within the days to come with the condensation of particulate matter and varying temperatures.
The System of Air Quality and Weather forecasting and Research (SAFAR) has also given its report where it gives a positive prediction that the PM 2.5 and PM 10 in the air will not cross the dangerous levels.
Though the air quality is still not very good yet it is also not very dangerous. The overall air quality remained at very poor. The matter had been taken up holistically last year but the state governments did not act in time.
The Union Minister for Environment, Dr. Harshvardhan said that due to the joint efforts of the Environment ministers of adjoining states, UP, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, a positive impact has been made. He further added that the governments are exploring options how provide incentives to farmers to not to take up stubble burning and instead make them generate revenues out of the same.
The society will have to brace up for a tougher fight and align with the governmental initiatives if the air quality has to be improved for our future generations.