Wow Punjab stubble-burning, far from Delhi did you darken Chennai skies too?
Lest anybody think that painfully foul November air is mostly a north Indian concern, last week saw Chennai giving Delhi good competition. For example on Thursday Chennai AQI of 264 handsomely beat Delhi at 254 at 9.30 am, going on to rise beyond 270 as the day went on. Interestingly, this time the pollution triggered a debate about whether it was the Delhi smog that had travelled down the east coast because of wind flow.
This mirrors conversation in Delhi about how much of its smog is actually caused by stubble burning in Punjab, while in Punjab the leaders wave to overflows of the stubble burning taking place in Pakistan. What all these parties need to do is set their own house in order with the same passion they show in excusing its vile miasma.
Coming back to Chennai though, although this time it was done in by high humidity levels trapping the particulate matter, most days it is pretty much saved by the winds that carry away the toxins to the sea. While the city was admittedly more self-restrained this Diwali, it is really let down by authorities regulating the emissions of the factories and coal-fired thermal power plants within the metropolitan area. Many Delhi villains like inadequate public transport and unchecked construction dust are unhappily at home in Chennai too.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.