New Delhi: Over 73% of the households in Delhi NCR (national capital region) have one or more individuals suffering from pollution-related ailments in their homes.
This has been revealed in a survey conducted by pollster LocalCircles. According to their survey, 85% of the residents of Delhi have reported to have one or more individuals suffering from pollution-related ailments like cold, cough or sore throat, burning eyes and breathing difficulty in their homes, while 68% residents from Noida and 66% residents from Gurgaon reported to have one or more individuals suffering from pollution-related ailments in their households.
As per the survey, 46% households from Ghaziabad and 66% residents from Faridabad also reported to have one or more individuals suffering from pollution-related ailments in their households.
Every year, just around Diwali, the pollution levels in the national capital reach to the “hazardous” level and even this year since the last three weeks, the AQI (Air Quality Index), a benchmark to measure the levels of pollution in the city, has been hovering around the 400 to 700 mark.
PM 2.5 is a particulate matter which is 30 times thinner than human hair and is a primary source of haze and breathing difficulty among individuals, as it penetrates deep into the human lungs, causing long term and short-term health hazards. PM 2.5 levels in Delhi’s air for the last one week have been hovering around 300 to 400 mark, while PM 10, a slightly bigger particulate matter, had even crossed the 999 mark in Delhi several times over the past few weeks.
Every year, when the pollution level in the national capital region reaches the “severe” category, the Supreme Court monitored Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) puts into force its emergency measures under the GRAP–Graded Response Action Plan–to tackle the situation of pollution. Some of the measures which are implemented under the GRAP include ban in diesel generators sets unless for emergency use, night patrolling by pollution control authorities to check dust emission and garbage burning, mechanised sweeping of roads and sprinkling waters.
However, in survey conducted by LocalCircles, 75% of residents from Delhi-NCR said that the GRAP guidelines are not being implemented effectively in their area and city.
According to the survey, which sought responses from 5,205 citizens of Delhi to know whether the actions recommended under the GRAP were being followed in their area, only 22% residents from Delhi said ‘yes’, while the rest said that the GRAP guidelines are not being effectively followed in their area.
In a majority response, citizens of Delhi favoured a complete ban on firecrackers, which are considered one of the major contributors of air pollution during Diwali in Delhi.
According to the LocalCircles survey, 51% respondents in Delhi favoured a complete ban on firecrackers, while 26% of respondents in Delhi said that they are okay with allowing green crackers.