It’s a city that does find various, divergent ways to score headlines and constantly remain in our imagination and thoughts. It’s a city that does know how to bounce back but where the current state of the environment stands- then maybe, not so much!
Is Delhi the city we love for its food, it’s warm-hearted people, its colorful smiles, its vibrant charm that flows through a massively versatile culinary culture, historical significance and whatnot- choking again? Well, truth be told, it does appear so.
In fact, Delhi’s quality of air has been making more headlines than its wide roads and sprawling malls and delectable eating places. In fact, any particular news criticizing or simply emphasizing about Delhi’s quality of air could simply- at least in the contemporary moment- play out as a repeat telecast of what happened and how things were in the city last year or maybe even the year prior to that.
So when the latest news highlighted that Delhi’s quality of air was back to being hazardous and that the air was, in fact, making the commoners choke- it wasn’t really that big of a surprise- fundamentally speaking from the commoners’ point of view.
Where the Saturday morning weather stood, then it wasn’t too optimistic to note that Delhi’s quality of air was in the ‘very poor category’ particularly in the morning.
The overall air quality in the city was 370 at 9.45 am; it was ‘severe’ with an AQI of 404 at 4 pm Friday.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered ‘good’, 51-100 ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 ‘moderate’, 201-300 ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’ and 401-500 ‘severe’. An AQI above 500 falls in the ‘severe plus’ category.
At several major junctions of the city, the Air Quality Index (AQI) oscillated between ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ category.
In fact, all of that said, it’s important to understand the need to breathe and intake clean, pollution-free air has never been as vital before. For about a while, leading journalists, media reports, climate-action groups, activists, social media influencers, even stars, and celebs have been trying to raise a voice of concern, going all out in raising the alarm bells about the exasperating situation we have had to endure.
It’s also then, a situation we might ourselves have caused and are perhaps, still contributing largely to. Yet, at the same time, it may also be a situation that is constantly giving us the red-alert, only to find a lack of cohesive response.
It wasn’t too long ago when during mid-November a large group of activists, everyday people, media personnel formed a body of people who gathered at perhaps the most noticeable centre in all of the country’s national capital- at New Delhi’s India Gate. This was done to raise awareness about the plight of the ever-worsening quality of Delhi’s air.
The Delhi-centric event, that found focus in local media did gather steam over the social media was widely-debated but didn’t find substantial action as the aftermath. All of this, therefore, raises a question we can no longer ignore- has our blithe disregard evident from our ignoring the climate and doing our bit for it may have led to a situation where we are hovering around cluelessly?
So what will happen to Delhi’s quality of air if nothing is done to check it?