Against air pollution in New Delhi, India launches the “Green War Room”

INTERNATIONAL – It’s becoming routine. Every year, the city of New Delhi faces a peak in air pollution in November, before the onset of winter. At this time, like this Monday, November 6, calm winds and low temperatures trap in the atmosphere. We can then observe smog, this famous thick and toxic fog, in the Indian megalopolis.

For the third day in a row, air quality was rated “severe” according to the federal pollution control agency. In order to fight against this scourge, the Indian government has an idea, the “ green war room » or green war room. It is a high-tech coordination center or 17 experts that monitors air pollution in real time using satellite images and various sensors on the ground.

A war room against pollution

The objective of this room is to know in real time, and at the same time serve as a coordination center, connected to 28 government agencies. “The Green War Room, if used correctly, will be effective in suppressing pollution for a period of time”estimates to AFP Sunil Dahiya, analyst at the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

In addition to this famous room, the government has taken several emergency measures such as the closure of primary schools until November 10 or restrictions on the use of vehicles between November 13 and 20. Odd number plates will be able to circulate on odd days and on other days for even plates.

The problem is that these measures are temporary. And the creation of a war room, although it allows us to better understand the rate of air pollution, does not in itself help to reduce it. “This is not the solution to reducing emissionsunderlines Sunil Dahiya because when it comes to breathing clean air, pollution levels must be reduced, otherwise drastic and systematic changes are necessary. »

A public health problem

Currently, an area stretching from Lahore (Pakistan) in the west to Bangladesh in the east, passing through New Delhi in northern India, is at “very unhealthy” or even “dangerous” levels. (which is the maximum scale) according to the Swiss air quality monitoring body .

This pollution is the result of microparticles called PM 2.5, so tiny that they even infiltrate our blood. On Sunday, their level was 40 times higher than the maximum recommended by the World Health Organization, according to IQAir.

The problem is even impacting the entire earth. Indeed, air pollution is one of the nine planetary limits. The latter has not yet been reached on a global scale. On the other hand, on a regional scale this is already the case with what we observe in India and more generally in South East Asia.

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