Delhi-NCR citizens will soon need five oxygen cylinders a day to survive pollution
New Delhi, Dec 31 (ANI): Rising pollution levels in Delhi and the extended National Capital Region (NCR) could soon see inhabitants walking around with oxygen cylinders on their backs to counter it, warn experts adding that a person would need at least five oxygen cylinders a day. Rising pollution levels in Delhi has become the cause of several ailments, including premature birth, decrease in lung immunity, allergies or aggravation of existing allergies, strokes, heart and lung disease, cancer and other acute respiratory diseases. According to the web site delhiair.org, air pollution in Delhi-NCR occurs due to a complex mix of pollution from human activities such as vehicle emissions, industry, construction, residential fuel burning, dust and sea salt. The web site further reveals that the NCR generates 10,000 tons per day of municipal solid waste, much of which is eventually burned, and thus, adding particulate pollution to the air. Galloping urbanisation brings massive construction projects to the area. In addition, Delhi has over a crore vehicles on its roads, and the result is another pollution "hotspot." ANI approached a couple of experts to get a better understanding of the causes behind this menace, and what steps needed to be taken to reduce it. Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director (Research and Advocacy) and head of the air pollution and clean transportation programme at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said, "The issue of dealing with and countering the problem of rising pollution is not as simplistic as it appears. Post-2009, we saw a slow-down in actions related to and around pollution. We were losing out on the gains made prior to 2009, and as a result, the scale of pollution again increased." Meanwhile, on Friday, the Union Environment Ministry has granted a week's time to various agencies to respond on whether deadlines listed in a mega plan to clean Delhi's air by a Supreme Court-monitored panel suits them or not. Dr. Vikas Maurya, senior consultant at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, recently listed steps to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of pollution. People should avoid going outdoors along with doing physical activities like cycling and jogging. N95 masks should be used if it is necessary to go out. Air purifying plants such as aloe vera, ivy and spider plant can be placed at home or in the office. To ensure that indoor air pollution does not take place, make sure that there is a chimney in the kitchen and an exhaust in the bathroom. Consume fruits rich in vitamin C, magnesium and foods rich in Omega fatty acids. Have herbal ginger and Tulsi tea.