The Chinese capital, Beijing, is suffocated due to high pollution levels, affecting all residents. Smog does not only affect Beijing but also other big cities Delhi and London. Authorities have considered emergency interventions, including the use of a blanket ban covering building activities. Nevertheless, these ideas would have been barely used.
In contrast, if the measures discussed in Beijing were to be taken in Delhi, the red alert would have taken about 78 days in a year. The alert system of Beijing is stricter than other cities, relying on smog forecasts and not on registered concentrations of pollution levels. Based on some experts’ theories, this helps Beijing to prevent or quickly annihilate high pollution levels.
Air quality campaigners at Greenpeace have recently examined the alert systems of Delhi and Beijing, trying to figure out how these systems would be exhausted in 2016 by using RStudio. This is a software based on open source data analytics. Experts have revealed daily average estimated at PM2.5 and PM10 information from CPCB for the year 2016.
The PM2.5 levels mean that the air contains respirable pollution particles whereas PM10 indicates that the air contained solid pollution particles. Delhi registered 67 days with severe pollution levels and 110 days with very low pollution levels, as scientists mentioned in the action plan. While experts appreciated the graded response plan, a 48-hour lag of alert could cut down pollution’s impact, and it might permit the worst situation to dissolve before it came into force.
Experts were helped by the SC-mandated Environment Pollution Control Authority in Delhi/NCR. Lauri Myllyvirta, the senior air pollution campaigner, stated that a 48-hour delay to respond and other 24 hours before authorities take measures could develop into a significant issue. He also noted that usually, smog takes approximately 48 hours to form. Thus, authorities should make sure that the actions taken are in effect two days before the pollution levels reach their peak.
On 3 out of five occurrences, actions were taken only after pollution had already reached the highest levels. Based on the analysis conducted by experts, Myllyvirta argued that emergency response could be continuously maintained during winter when pollution levels are always high. If authorities decide to ponder the measures after the PM levels drop, then this can only render these interventions as being ineffective.
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