The irony is that our eyes have opened only when the smog has blocked the vision. Smog seems to have enveloped the national capital, making it all the more alarming than it ever was. The smog we see now is considered to be the worst in past two decades and more severe than any other which has happened in densely polluted cities like Beijing etc.
To understand the intricacies better, we primarily need to understand what smog is. Smog is a term used to describe the haze of smoke-laden fog that is caused by atmospheric pollution being trapped close to the ground. Also popularly known as smoke plus fog, smog is very dangerous to inhale and reduces the visibility exponentially.
It is a not a matter of bewilderment to know about this severe Delhi smog. With Diwali having passed just a few days ago, it was expected out of the reckless, irresponsible human behavior practiced. Besides that, the vehicular pollution that has been uncontrollable since ever, has also contributed a lot for the state of plight we are in. One more interesting reason behind the Delhi smog is heavy concentration of particulate matter that stagnates in air and traps the pollution close to ground. These particulates are brought here by air flow patterns from Afghanistan and Pakistan which pick emissions of burnt crop and agricultural waste from states like Punjab and Haryana.
The effects of smog can be severe and at times fatal as well. The most severe effects are on the human health, right from respiratory troubles to cardiovascular problems. The most vulnerable victims to smog are infants, children and animals. The effect on them are far more devastating than one could imagine. Also, the Delhi smog has reduced visibility to a very large extent increasing the risks of road accidents and also disrupting train and flight traffic.
What we experience today is not an alien phenomenon but a result of our own deeds. The healthy environment we had once lived in was to be preserved and enhanced for the generations to come but on the contrary, we even snatched away the right to breathe pure air and drink clean water. Innumerable infrastructural development took place to advance the city, but at the cost of degradation of the environment. Jungles got transformed into concrete jungles, we cherished and celebrated it hardly realizing that we were digging our own grave in the process. Undeniably, it is very late, yet we can make a fresh start to stop the ongoing devastation around us so that the status-quo gets a little better and habitable.