New Delhi, Nov 16 (EFE) – New Delhi’s air pollution reached new levels of toxicity on Thursday, despite measures to control it.
After a brief respite brought by the rains, which ended with the start of the firecrackers for the Hindu festival of Diwali, combined with the burning of stubble, pollution is back at alarming levels.
The capital recorded a peak of 535 micrograms of PM 2.5 per cubic meter of air, the most harmful to health and thirty-five times higher than the daily pollution limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to the IQAir platform.
According to the company’s index, New Delhi once again took the top spot among the world’s most polluted cities, where it has remained for about two weeks, although the pollution extends to a large part of northern India.
New Delhi’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai announced the formation of a special task force to “monitor the implementation” of pollution control measures in the city of 22 million.
The measures, which include the suspension of non-essential construction work and a ban on diesel trucks entering the capital until further notice, as well as the closure of schools, have been criticized for treating the symptoms rather than the root of the problem.
“Publicity about accessories like air purification towers means nothing,” said New Delhi Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena, a central government-appointed official with broad administrative powers who is often at odds with New Delhi authorities in the hands of the opposition Aam Admi Party (AAP).
Saxena accused the neighboring state of Punjab, also controlled by the AAP, of not taking action in stopping stubble burning on its territory.
Thousands of fires lit to dispose of waste from rice cultivation, vehicle emissions, construction dust and the constant burning of solid waste are the main sources of air pollution in the Indian capital.
Added to these factors is the arrival of winter and the decrease in winds that prevent the dispersion of pollutants. EFE