People of Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) on Thursday woke up with complaints of choking and ‘eye burning’ due to smog and air pollution leaving people gasping for breath.
Arjun Prajapati, a resident of Noida, alleged that despite ban being imposed by the government, there was unreportedly a huge amount of cracker sales made across Delhi and NCR region.
“Despite the government’s ban, so many firecrackers were sold leading to this condition post-Diwali. There is so much difficulty in breathing that I cannot even breathe. There is burning in the eyes. Pollution is increasing. The government should take cognizance of it,” he said.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital at 8 am was at 364 (in the ‘Very Poor’ category) and at 7 am the recorded AQI stood at 408 (‘Severe’). Unfavorable meteorological conditions with slower wind speed and sudden spike in farm fire incidents are attributed to the dip in air quality.
Apart from this, elder people are complaining of respiratory illness as the city reels under smog.
“Amid the baseload of the pollution, we suffer difficulty in breathing, burning in the nose. When we came here for a morning walk, the whole area was covered in smog,” an elder person said.
The National Capital Region (NCR) witnessed bad air as Noida, which is part of the national capital region, slipped to an AQI of 393, in the ‘very poor’ category, while Gurugram’s AQI stood at 318 and continued to remain in the ‘very poor category, as per data released by SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) India.
Another resident of the NCR, also woke up to a thick layer of smog today morning.
“The government is putting a lot of restrictions but nobody followed, recently in Diwali, despite the crackers ban. Lots of people burst firecrackers,” he said.
“When I came for a morning walk I suffered from eye-itching and throat infection. The neighboring states are failing to stop the farm fires. As of now, we are entering into the winter season which is contributing to the pollution,” he added.
The locals are complaining about stubble burning from the adjoining states, Punjab and Haryana.
“We should hold ourselves accountable, along with the politicians. People are suffering due to stubble burning too,” locals in New Delhi said.
Meanwhile, schoolchildren unanimously demanded to their school administration to shut down schools until the situation normal.
Divyansh, a student of Gyan Ganga Siksha Niketan School, Haldoni indicated emissions from the tail-end pipes of the private vehicles.
“The schools should also be shut down, apart from this government should close factories and offices, so that people do not use private vehicles,” Divyansh said.
According to data by SAFAR, Dhirpur in Model Town plunged to an AQI of 457-a level at which even healthy people can fall ill.
The AQI near IGI Airport (T3) also stood in the ‘Very Poor’ category today at 346. On Wednesday, the AQI in the area was recorded 350.
With air pollution worsening in the national capital, Delhi authorities halted all construction work and demolition activities till further orders.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has urged the Delhi government to shut schools till air quality improves.