The air pollution levels in Delhi continue to be abysmal, despite the efforts of the Government and residents alike, making it a must for residents to keep a list of emergency numbers in India handy. In fact, this alarming reality is further emphasised by the fact that as many as 14 Indian cities featured on The WHO’s global air pollution database of 15 most polluted cities in the world, released in Geneva this year, with Delhi ranking sixth on the list. While the city has made some improvement, from being the most polluted city in the world to coming down to the sixth position, it is certainly not reason for rejoicing just yet, as Delhi still averages PM2.5 levels of 143, more than three times the national safe standard. As such, there is a dire need to ensure residents in Delhi have a list of emergency numbers in India, especially patients suffering from breathing ailments like asthma, COPD, and more.
The nation’s capital has been taking a slew of measures to battle the alarming levels of pollution which have been plaguing the city for the past couple of years, with the air quality fluctuating between ‘poor’ and ‘severe’. However, despite initiatives like the Odd-Even Policy on Vehicles, bans on waste burning and civil construction, and the restriction of industrial activities by the National Green Tribunal, as well as ensuring the strict compliance of a Graded Response Action Plan, the situation has not improved substantially. As of Thursday, December 7th, 2018, the air quality in seven major areas of Delhi, namely, Anand Vihar, Ashok Vihar, Mundka, Nehru Nagar, Rohini, Vivek Vihar, and Wazirpur, has fallen to ‘severe’ standards.
In fact, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has also issued a show-cause notice to the Irrigation and Flood Control Department of the Delhi Government for failing to contain the open burning of waste at the Shahdara drain, recording an overall air quality index (AQI) of 333. The State Government has even had to pay a massive fine of Rs 25 Crores for its inability to curb pollution levels in the city, with the National Green Tribunal emphasizing how residents of the Delhi-NCR region face the risk of permanent damage to their respiratory system because of the highly toxic air. Taking this into consideration, it has become quite clear that an emergency is imminent, highlighting the urgent need for efficient medical emergency services in the state to be on standby, and residents to be made aware of how to avail them.
As such, a list of emergency numbers in India, which includes not only emergency medical ambulances, but also the fire brigade, police, and more, needs to be broadcasted and shared with every residential society in the city. In addition to that, workshops and drills on best practices which can minimise the damage suffered, need to be conducted in schools, corporate offices, and the like, in addition to highlighting the benefits of purifier masks, when going outside. If adhered to, not only can this help protect several residents against the near-deadly air prevailing in the city, but also save lives, until conditions improve.