Indian city is now the most polluted in the world
New Delhi, India’s capital city which is home to over 20 million people, has made a bid to tackle its shocking air pollution.
Polluted air in the city has reached a record-breaking high, and now a plan to ban cars from travelling on alternate days over the first two weeks of this year has been implemented.
The radical road rationing plan kicks in from the New Year as the city aims to clean up its filthy air.
The ‘odd-even scheme’ has been introduced to the city, where private cars will be allowed on the roads only on alternate days from 1st January to the 15th, depending on whether their license plates end in an odd or even number.
This initiative has been taken to help cleanse the capital’s toxic air, which has reached one of the highest levels of pollution, compared to other big cities in the world.
In 2014, the World Health Organisation had released data on air quality levels in 1,600 cities around the world, and New Delhi was found to have the highest concentration of polluted air.
A lungful of air in Delhi means a breathful of a harmful mix of noxious fumes, smoke, dust and ash, with heavy concentrations of chemicals, acids, metals and carcinogens.
The air is particularly deadly because of its size. The particles are small enough to pass through the nose and throat, and even penetrate through tissue.
However, vehicles aren’t completely to blame for the smoggy air.
Road dust, which is a high concentration of metals such as Copper, Manganese, Nickel, Barium and Zinc, is a major cause of pollution in Delhi.
The road dust is the result of poor roads, heavy traffic and incessant construction.
An equally alarming cause of pollution is how the people in Delhi handle their rubbish.
When piles of trash are burnt, harmful chemicals are released into the air.
The harmful air contains a class of chemicals that are associated with heart attacks, cancer and neurological diseases.
Other measures proposed to clear up Delhi’s pollution include the vacuum-cleaning of roads, as well as a plantation drive along its roads to control how much dust gets circulated.
The odd-even plan clearly won’t be enough to stem the smog unless these other, less-publicised plans of the government kick in.