Choking Delhi to install air purifiers at intersections for Diwali


Indian capital plans to combat dangerous levels of smog during the festival of lights with mist fountains and air cleaners to help pollutants settle

Delhis government will install air purifiers and mist-making devices at major road intersections in the Indian capital to curb choking levels of pollution.

Delhi has been shrouded in a toxic soup as residents gear up for the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, which is marked by ear-splitting fireworks that cause days of dark smoke.

We are planning to install air purifiers at five major intersections in Delhi to reduce pollution levels, said Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain.

We also want to try to install a mist fountain at one of these intersections we want to do this at the earliest, maybe within a month or two, he said, adding that the mist would help pollutants settle.

Indias state-run air quality authority showed levels of harmful PM 2.5 particles hovering between very poor and severe in the past week.

These fine particles less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter are linked to higher rates of chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and heart disease as they settle into the lungs and can pass into the bloodstream.

Jain urged residents not to light crackers this Diwali on Sunday, saying respiratory problems had sharply spiked in Delhi rated as one of the worlds most polluted cities.

The Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) issued a warning on Friday on the deadly impact of letting off firecrackers at the onset of winter when the air is already saturated.

The government also said it would convert a coal-fired power plant into a waste-to-energy plant by December 2017.

New Delhis air quality has steadily worsened over the years, a consequence of rapid urbanisation that has brought pollution from diesel engines, coal-fired power plants and industrial emissions.

It also suffers from atmospheric dust, burning of crop stubble in farms around the city and pollution from open fires lit by the urban poor to keep warm in winter and cook food.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/29/choking-delhi-to-install-air-purifiers-at-intersections-for-diwali

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