If you were going on a submarine mission, the one item that you would want to guarantee functioned would be your air system. Figuring out that you have no oxygen is not something you want to do at 500 feet below the surface. That would clearly be a life-threatening situation.
Metaphorically, New Delhi is in that submarine. On the positive side, India is committed to industrial growth but on the negative side, its air-quality strategy has not yet caught up with its industrial-growth strategy. A recent World Health Organization study determined that New Delhi’s air is the most polluted in the world.
Researchers affiliated with the University of Chicago, Yale, and Harvard have determined that New Delhi residents’ life expectancies are reduced by 3.2 years due to air pollution. Air-purification systems are becoming increasingly common and are just another indicator of the growing concerns about this dangerous problem, as Gardiner Harris reports:
“Some embassies, including Norway’s, have begun telling diplomats with children to reconsider moving to the city, and officials have quietly reported a surge in diplomats choosing to curtail their tours. Indian companies have begun ordering filtration systems for their office buildings.”
Thankfully, India is not just recognizing the problem. India is starting to move in the important direction of taking action. Although no overnight solutions exist for this major challenge, at least public awareness is growing rapidly. Hopefully, the needed changes to counter the issue will occur even more rapidly.