People living in Delhi will have to brace up for the chill in the coming days as the mercury is expected to plummet by two to three degree Celsius in the coming days. The temperature in the night is also likely to fall and chilly winters are expected to set in within a span of three days.
On Saturday, the maximum temperature is likely to hover at 23 degree Celsius and nine degree Celsius as minimum temperature with sunshine and patchy clouds. The humidity will oscillate between 80 per cent to 83 per cent.
According to private broadcasting agency Skymet weather, "Fresh snowfall over hills will cool down these northerly winds. Day and night temperatures of Delhi-NCR may dip from December 12 onward leading to winter chill. Minimum temperature will continue to fall, although the fall will be gradual, by December 15 or 16, we can expect winters to set in fully over Delhi and adjoining areas."
If one looks closely, climate change and air pollution are inextricably intertwined. Experts believe that the dust, allergens, soot, water vapour, and other particles and gases will continue to be trapped in the atmosphere due to light winds flowing over Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).
As per the forecasting agency, a Western Disturbance is approaching the western range of Himalayas and will start with its effect by tomorrow. Later, these winds over the capital would also change their direction in the next two days and relatively humid east and southeasterly winds are expected to blow over the region.
These winds full of humidity will act as a trigger for the formation of shallow fog and mist over the capital area leading to spiralling of toxic air. The air quality index in the coming days is expected to dip from very poor to the hazardous category.
Exposure to polluted air has very serious implications for health. It is a leading cause of diseases such as asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, strokes, heart disease, pneumonia, throat, lung and nasal cancers, and tuberculosis, among other ailments. As per the World Health Organisation report, there are shocking 30,000 deaths every year in Delhi alone due to air pollution, making it the fifth leading cause of death in India. And for every person who dies, thousands more are suffering from other health problems.
According to the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the overall air quality index of Delhi docked at 355 in the morning which falls under the very poor category. At Dhirpur, the AQI was 314 at 8:45 am, while in Mathura Road area it dipped to hazardous category with at 441.
The AQI near Pitampura, Airport Terminal 3 and Delhi University stood at 297, 327 and 282 respectively.
To fight the increasing air pollution, there is a need to improve Delhi's public transport facility system including last mile connectivity for the Delhi Metro. More green buses, electric motorbike taxis should be used more for commuting. Some areas should be completely made car-free zone.
Instead of using petrol, diesel and other bio-mass fuels, people of Delhi must switch to renewable forms of energy such as solar as the capital is the majority of the year remains sunny.
Children, aged and sick people can prevent themselves from falling into a pit of toxic air by wearing masks and installing air purifiers. A high-quality mask with extremely good filter sheet can play a significant role in reducing exposure to pollutants.
Taking cognisance of the prevailing situation, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority for the National Capital Region (EPCA) pulled up the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government and said that they are considering banning industrial, construction and demolition activities at major pollution pots in Delhi and the surrounding regions if the air quality index will dip to hazardous category.
The organisation expressed concern over the usage of private vehicles being used as cabs by the state and central officials in the Delhi-NCR and had stated that one of the solutions proposed was that government officials should only be allowed to hire CNG and petrol cars.