New Delhi: Diwali season came and went and left a thick blanket of smog in its wake, under which, Delhi, the national capital, is slowly crippling.
There may be some name-calling and finger-pointing by the authorities, but the residents of Delhi hold themselves largely responsible for the envelope of toxic air that the city is enclosed in.
The reason? Burning crackers. It is a week since Diwali celebrations got over, but Delhi/NCR locals are now left with poisonous air that they have to breathe, courtesy the fire crackers that many people all over the country seem to think are mandatory to burn.
Acknowledging that the government alone should not be held responsible, locals are now lamenting over the fact that they should have paid heed to the former’s request.
“It would be wrong to hold the government responsible. We are equal culprits in this. Had we not burnt firecrackers, we wouldn’t have been suffering from this smog,” a local told ANI.
“The responsibility falls on us, we should have reduced fire-works during this Diwali and instead we should have lit lamps,” another local said.
As per reports, the air quality is now 42 times higher than the safety limit put down by the World Health Organisation. This means that the air Delhi is currently inhaling is extremely hazardous.
In the backdrop of deteriorating air quality in the national capital and the adjoining states, Environment Ministers of Delhi and all neighbouring states will today meet in New Delhi.
The meeting has been convened by the Union Environment Minister Anil Dave. He said, his ministry is also exploring the possibility of calling a meeting of Chief Ministers of all neighbouring states on the problem. The meeting will discuss immediate, short-term and long-term measures to combat the alarming air pollution in the city.
Delhi government has already closed schools in the national capital till Wednesday.
All construction and digging works has been stopped for five days. Coal-based Badarpur Power Plant will also be closed for 10 days, as it is considered to be one of the major contributors of pollution.
In the NCR region, authorities in Gurugram and NOIDA have also announced a series of measures. Gurugram District Administration has imposed Section 144 of CrPC and banned openly burning of waste, garbage and other materials.
Gautam Buddha Nagar District Magistrate has announced two-day off for the Nursery, Class-I and Class-II students. For the rest, classes will be held from 9 AM to 1 PM. All outdoor activities have also been suspended for two days in these schools.
(With Agency inputs)