As the spells of winter smog spur environmentalists to ring alarm bells, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) says it is working overtime to ensure that Delhiites breathe safer air.
DPCC Chairman Sanjiv Kumar says that the city’s smog cover hasn’t developed because of factors such as increased emissions from vehicles or mushrooming industries. Rather, the Capital has become a victim of weather phenomena that aren’t under its control.
“By our assessment the rate of pollution hasn’t increased,” says Kumar. “Our city doesn’t have any major industries that can contribute so much pollution. Nor has the emission from vehicles increased overnight.”
Till recently, Delhi was in the grip of a weather phenomenon known as ‘inversion’ and the problem was further compounded by the air pollution travelling to the city from elsewhere.
‘Inversion’ is a weather phenomenon in which the air in an area remains confined within the city walls, with outside air unable to stir or disperse it. The stagnant air, like in an unventilated room, stays put until strong winds are able to scatter it away.
But such winds weren’t arriving in the Capital even as pollution from Punjab and Haryana was entering it, and the smog cover has thickened over the past few weeks.