Delhiites inhales middle-east air as the dry air in upper layers of atmosphere accumulates from the bone-dry nations.
The dust-laden winds cross the much cooler Pakistan collecting water particles in the form of fog, and smoke from Punjab’s flaming fields.
The lethal smog has sprouted a lush tussle with the neighbouring states. But scientists narrates a different story saying the trouble has come from further afield – as far as Kuwait, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Heavier now, the winds sink and settle over Delhi and its surrounding areas, causing a noxious blanket.
A dip in night temperature increases the moisture content, trapping the city in the grey-brown haze.
Here’s what the aerial view from US space agency NASA has to show.
The pollutant carrying winds are unlikely to lift unless the day temperature registers a marked rise.
While this atmospheric phenomenon is regular in winters in Delhi and its surrounding areas, the spike in stubble burning has piled on the pollutants: carcinogenic gases and particulate matter that has been causing health havoc over the last few years.
This year, the particulate matter in the air has gone off charts, pushing up the level of pollutants to 10 times more than Chinese capital Beijing, known as the world’s most polluted city.
Calling the smog as a public health emergency, doctors advised immediate “evacuation”.
The Central Pollution Control Board recorded an Air Quality Index (AQI) of last three consecutive days as 486, 451 and 478 on a scale of 500.
To counter the current “emergency situation,” a task force of the pollution control body, met to appraise the measures concluding the pollution levels will drop on Saturday; two notches below the current “category”.
To cut down vehicular pollution in half, the Delhi government has announced a return of the odd-even road rationing scheme.
In a sequence of measures to ban commercial trucks from entering the city, the Delhi government ordered restricting vehicles unless they are transporting essential items.
To further force residents to use public transport, the government hiked car parking charges four-fold; stopping all construction activities