Delhi Air Pollution in pics: National capital descends into gray as smog engulfs the region

Delhi Air Pollution in pics: National capital descends into gray as smog engulfs the region

The cause of rise in pollution is Delhi is partly due to stubble burning in neigbouring states including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh.

New Delhi: Air pollution in Delhi has become a common scenario with the onset of winter for the past few years. The national capital sees smog, dust, air pollution and smoke post Diwali making the air quality severe. 

People start to face breathing issues and the health of those with comorbidities deteriorate due to poor air in the environment. 

The cause of rise in pollution is Delhi is partly due to stubble burning in neigbouring states including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh. The visibility also turns poor due to air pollution in the Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region).

Smoke from crop fires, however, is not the only contributor to the hazy skies. Influxes of dust sometimes arrive from the Thar Desert to the west, while hosts of other human-caused sources of air pollution in cities, including motor vehicle fumes, industrial and construction activity, fireworks, and fires for heating and cooking also produces particulate matter and other pollutants.

In a satellite image by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) shows a river of smoke streaming from fires in Punjab and Haryana toward Delhi. 

Stubble burning is the process, where farmers get rid of crop residues by setting the ablaze so as to create space for a fresh batch of crops. This annual activity leads to recurrence of seasonal pollution.

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This year there has been not much of spike in air pollution levels in the beginning of November thanks to a lingering monsoon spell. But, after the late half of second week of November, the fire activities gathered pace. 

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Due to dip in mercury levels and lack of winds, the pollutants get trapped in the atmosphere longer than usual. This then makes Delhi’s air quality hazardous for all, even for a healthy person. 

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Almost every morning commuter in Delhi for the past few days have been travelling amidst dense fog. There is a poor visibility, giving people a difficult time. 

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To minimise the impact of air pollution, people in Delhi are wearing face mask whenever they are stepping out. Many are even complaining breathing issues after inhaling air in open.

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An aerial view shows how Delhi air pollution has been intensifying from the early days on November. The visibility remains poor and also hints at the air quality being bad.

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The historic Humayun’s tomb in the national capital was recently captured engulfed in dense smog. 

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Delhi air pollution and smog has been intensifying. People in the national capital on most mornings are waking up to hazy atmosphere. The Red Fort too has been engulfed in smog.

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Poor visibility due to smog and pollution in the national capital also result in delay as well as cancellation of flights and trains. The situation has been similar for the past few years during October-December. 

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In the neighbouring state Uttar Pradesh, at Agra, the iconic Taj Mahal can also be seen swamped in smog post an increase in air pollution.

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In Delhi, the Arvind Kejriwal-led government is using anti-smog gun to curb air pollution. Now, this anti-smog gun sprays atomised water to settle the dust and other suspended particles in the atmosphere.

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Meanwhile, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), has forecast Delhhi’s air quality to remain in ‘very poor’ category for Friday and it is predicted to get ‘severe’ again in the next couple of days. 

It has also said that local surface winds are relatively low for the next three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) that reduces dispersion of pollutants leading to deterioration of air quality but within ‘upper end of very poor’ category. 

On November 29, local surface winds are likely to increase resulting in improvement of air quality but remains within ‘Very Poor’ category. Local emissions and weather are likely to be the dominant factors controlling air quality. (Pic credit: NASA, ANI)

first published:Nov. 26, 2021, 7 a.m.

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