Delhi smog not just a winter condition-dr soumitro chakraborty – bw businessworld ideal gas definition chemistry


Rapid economic and social development has resulted in severe air pollution around the world. Air pollution on an average annually claims around 7 million lives globally. It’s definitely an alarming number, forcing nations around the world to spring into action and undertake preventive measures. India alone consists of 14 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities.

As if on cue, every year with the onset of winters, Delhi springs into action and debates about the hazardous levels of pollutants in the air. The cause of panic is mostly because of the increased number of tiny particulate matter known as PM2.5 and PM10 in the air. These particulates are respectively 2.5 microns and 10 microns in size, and in one inch there are as many as 25,000 microns. They can easily enter the respiratory tracts and cause discomfort and severe health issues.

Maya Angelou famously coined, “We are only blind as we want to be”. This is precisely the issue with the fight against pollution. static electricity in the body effects The pollution will eventually recede along with the reordering of the atmospheric conditions during February-March, and so will the anger and fury of the people. gas density formula Normalcy will be back, people will go blind until next time.

Crop residue burning results in the emission of smoke which when mixed with gases like methane, nitrogen oxide and ammonia in the air causes severe atmospheric pollution. These emissions can result in aggravated health risks such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and decreased lung function. The burning of crop residue also has adverse consequences on the quality of the soil as well.

The gap between the crop harvest and the sowing of the next yield is too less for the farmers and they resort to burning the stubble for it is the easy way and delivers quick results. But owing to the adverse effect that it causes, farmers are willing to adopt the alternatives. For instance, farmers in Kalar Majra, a village near Nabha in Punjab, chose to plough the stubble back to the soil to increase its fertility. Their eco-friendly measure had earned praise from National Green Tribunal as well. The government has also through its awareness programmes propagated the use of Happy Seeder machines as an alternative to stubble burning. However, there is still a large section of farmers who indulge in stubble burning.

A Happy Seeder machine is priced at Rs. 1.5 lakh and after the 50% subsidy by the government on the price, its value stands at Rs. 75,000. wd gaster theory Now an average farmer cannot afford the machine, especially the ones who do not own lands and take lands on rent for tillage. Also, owing to the high demands of the wheat sowing season and the short interval between the last crop and the new ones, the machines were largely not available for hire as well. The unavailability of machines and the lack of its optimal use forced the farmers to resort back to stubble burning.

The crop residues can be alternatively ploughed back in the soil to increase the lost nutrients of it. It can also be used as fodder for animals and as an input for paper/pulp industry. This can act as a platform for all stakeholders like policymakers, donor agencies, researchers, and the government to generate awareness and adaptability of alternate uses of crop residues.

Delhi’s overall air quality took an ugly turn after a surge in fumes post-Diwali augmented the levels of dangerous microparticles about 40times more than the safe limit. Prior to Diwali this year, pollutants in Delhi’s air reached 20 times higher than WHO’s recommended limits. Taking this into account, the Supreme Court of India restricted the use of firecrackers by charting out a window of 8 pm to 10 pm for bursting crackers. The Supreme Court categorically permitted only ‘green firecrackers’ which have a low emission of light, sound and harmful chemicals.

The authorities blatantly defied the Supreme Court’s orders and permitted the sale of banned firecrackers. The absence of ‘green crackers’ in the market vehemently added to the already worse situation. The government and authorities plea to celebrate a green Diwali fell on deaf ears when videos and images of people bursting crackers while they wore pollution masks. gas national average 2008 The irony speaks volumes about the behavioural change in the mindset of people that is required in order to fight effectively against pollution.

As per an emission inventory released by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, vehicles are the main cause of pollution in the city and NCR, with a contribution of over 40%. Heavy commercial vehicles like trucks and commercial/personal vehicles are the major polluting source. The saving grace is that most of them run on CNG and not diesel. Nevertheless, their net contribution is very high. This calls for a restraint on the number of trucks entering Delhi and also a reduction in the usage of personal vehicles and taxis. electricity nyc The other source of air pollution that has increased drastically between 2010 and 2018 is the emmission from the industries. It has increased by a staggering 48 per cent.

Vehicular and Industrial pollution is the primary reason behind the alarmingly deteriorating air quality in Delhi and NCR. There is no denying that stubble burning and firecrackers during Diwali are contributors but they are definitely not the primary reason as projected. One lesson that the policymakers must learn by now is that the pollution crisis in Delhi needs to be unfailingly regulated throughout the year and not just on Diwali or in winters.

India can learn significantly from China. It has been winning its war against air pollution with its stringent and meticulously implemented measures. As per data from more than 200 monitors in China from 2013 to 2017, it is found that China has cut down on the levels of PM 2.5 particles by an average of 32 per cent. gas nozzle stuck in car They achieved this by reducing the production of steel and coal-fired electricity and by investing heavily into wind and solar power. They also controlled the transit of private vehicles and improved the availability of public transport. South Korea, as a fundamental solution to air pollution, encourages the use of electric cars and is a leader in green car offerings.

The United Nations declared Mexico City as the most polluted on the planet, forcing Mexico to act. The city replaced its old soot-belching cars, embraced natural gas, relocated refineries and factories, and expanded public transportation. The results are for everyone to see and learn. The list of countries who have successfully reduced their carbon emissions and improved air quality and life expectancy is impressive.

It’s integral that policymakers in India take note of these success stories and formulate sustainable solutions to address the issue in hand and uproot it. Knee-jerk reactions or measures cannot be the way forward, a permanent solution and a comprehensive methodology must be considered to improve the air quality and safeguard its citizens. Strict legislative norms, stringent implementations, and larger adoption of eco-friendly technologies may prove effective. While some of the steps are being adopted, it must be prioritized now otherwise the widespread health effects will burden the health-care system and it might crumble under its weight.