Air pollution in the northern Indian district of Jammu is expected to reach “unsustainable” levels today.
Based on the Air Quality Index (AQI), the level of air pollution is expected to reach 130, a level of pollution that is particularly unhealthy for those vulnerable to illness such as children and the elderly. The AQI measures several pollutants including for particulate matter known as PM 10 and PM 2.5, the latter of which is more dangerous.
Lower temperatures and still air during winter tend to trap fine dust caused by factories, car emissions and the burning of crop residues in the neighboring states of Haryana and Punjab. Although rain spells and government initiatives like water sprinkling may improve air quality in the short-term, India faces a long-term battle with air pollution.
India’s capital New Dehli, situated directly next to Punjab, frequently records very unhealthy or hazardous levels of air pollution—especially during peak stubble-burning season from November 1 to November 15. However, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has rejected a proposal from Dehli and Punjab government members that would offer cash incentives to farmers to halt the practice, citing a lack of funds. In the short-term, the central government will rely on a ban on construction in New Dehli to lower dust levels.
Sabrine is an Analyst for Foreign Brief and a graduate student at Yonsei University in South Korea, specializing in foreign policy and security in East Asia. Previously, she contributed as a freelance writer for online publications and worked as a sub-editor for the Daily NK.