Contaminated problems pollute New Delhi
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New Delhi, the capital of India, declared a national emergency, as its air pollution recently reached perilous levels. The air quality index of New Delhi has been in the unsafe zone because the air is more than 16 times the safe limit. Air pollution levels hit 999 micrograms of particulate matter per cubic meter, and the smog in India is its worse in 17 years. It led to the closure of 5,000 schools, resulting in four million children missing three or more days of school.
“I feel sad for the kids who are prevented from going to school,” said junior Anthony Stephens. “The smog problem wasn’t their fault, but it is affecting them directly which is very unfair.”
Many people already went as far as migrating out of the city. Residents believe that the cause of New Delhi’s air pollution came from the burning of deteriorated crops in agricultural fields of neighboring regions.
“Air pollution is a product of them trying to industrialize,” said social studies teacher Mr. Cory Jensen. “India will become an economic superpower in the future since they are developing fast.”
Air pollution has many lasting effects since dust and other metallic particles get caught up in the lungs. Asthma, chronic respiratory diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease are just a few of the diseases that are caused by air pollution. And India has the highest rate of those diseases in the world.
Now, people are taking matters into their own hands by protesting. They are forcing the local government to take control of the situation. So, the government is restricting vehicles on the city’s roads and making farmers use more environmentally friendly processes. They also put in place a temporary ban on the demolition of buildings and use of generators.
New Delhi is trying to find a solution fast, as children need to go back to school and residents have to return to their homes. The government is in desperation mode as they are vacuuming the city’s streets and sprinkling water to settle the dust.