Something rotten in the Capital air
As study after study reiterates the disastrous extent of Delhi’s air pollution, we need to ask what the concerned authorities are doing about it. Even the ‘world’s most polluted city’ tag has not been able to open the firmly shut eyes of our officials and policy-watchers, who have turned a deaf ear to the relentless campaigning by environmentalists to save our urban ecosystem. Now, a fresh report has claimed that the Capital’s polluted air can steal away three years from anyone’s life who lives in this city, attesting to the high concentration of all kinds of pollutants in the atmosphere. Studies suggest there has been a 10 to 15 per cent jump in complaints of respiratory ailments, an effect of having particulate matter at levels far higher than the outer limits set by the World Health Organisation. Incidences of lung infection, breathing problems, excessive coughing and other pulmonary diseases have been reported all across the national capital and the hospitals are finding it hard to cope with the escalated medical emergency. The smog that envelops the city is a toxic combination of water vapour and poisonous organic compounds, and hangs over the Capital like a malignant grey shroud. The government must understand that this marked deterioration in the ambient air quality cannot be disregarded any longer. The authorities must pull up their socks and save the millions of lives that are stake.