Air Pollution: India’s Capital Residents Fear They’ll be Choking

People across India are preparing for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. They’re selling colorful lamps, cleaning and decorating homes, and buying clothes for the celebrations.

In the capital city New Delhi, residents are also preparing — by scrambling to buy air purifiers and protesting the use of firecrackers.
Diwali has created a persistent pollution problem in India for years, as it’s typically celebrated with firecrackers.
The Delhi government decided on October 25 to deduct the salary of executive engineers of the PWD and other agencies if they fail to remove garbage and construction waste from areas under their control.
Chief Secretary Vijay Dev directed the departments concerned and municipal corporations that action plans regarding the city’s 13 pollution hotspots be accorded the highest priority and action points completed within two week.

The DPCC has already imposed fines up to Rs 12.5 crore on both private and government agencies.

Pollution also worsens at this time of year as temperatures drop and farmers use fire to clear land. The air quality index, which ranks pollution on a scale of 0 to 500, peaked at 256 on Thursday, classed as “very unhealthy.”

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