BP#10 Smog Chokes Delhi, Leaving Residents ‘Cowering By Our Air Purifiers’

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For days, many people in Delhi have been living as if under siege, trying to keep the dirty air away from their children and older parents. “Outside, the sky is white, the sun a white circle so pale that you can barely make it out.  The smog is acrid, eye-stinging and throat-burning, and so thick that it is being blamed for a 70 vehicle pileup north of the city.” In past years Delhi’s roughly 20 million residents shrugged off wintertime pollution as fog, over the past week they viewed it as a crisis.  Schools have been ordered closed for three days an unprecedented measure, but not a reassuring one because experts say the concentration of pollutants inside Indian homes is typically not much lower than outside.  “There is so much smog outside that today, inside my house, I felt as though someone had just burned a few sheets of paper” said Amaan Ahuja.  “You can literally see smoke in the air, and when you breathe, you can smell it, too”.

Changing weather conditions are likely to disperse the dense cloud of pollutant over the next few days.  This would also bring the widespread of burning trash, including plastic and rubber for warmth by Delhi’s poor.  Among the persistent problems for policy makers is that the sources of the pollution vehicles, construction, crop burning and holiday fireworks fall under the authority of half a dozen city, state and federal government bodies, which are in some cases at odds with one another politically.

After reading this article, I compared it to the lesson and theory of negligent obedience.  The article states the city government released a list of health guidelines, advising citizens to wash their eyes with running water and to go to a hospital if they were experiencing symptoms like “breathlessness, giddiness, and chest pain and chest constriction”.  Experts said migrating the conditions would have required policies to be put in place months ago.  That being said, I argue the fact the city government was neglecting their responsibilities and could have helped prevent the tragedies that has occurred within their country.  “Public anger over Delhi’s air is or palpable than in previous years, and people are more likely to identify pollution as the cause of their health problems.” The city government would have been able to save a lot more of their citizens had they “taken due care”.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/08/world/asia/india-delhi-smog.html

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