New Delhi, Dec 5: The Cyclone Ockhi may have left a trail of destruction in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and caused heavy rainfall in coastal Gujarat and Maharashtra, but the storm could turn out a boon for Delhi and northern India. According to the NASA Earth, the Cyclone Ockhi may clear smog and air pollution present over northern India and especially in the national capital.
“Note the smog and haze to the north and east of the storm, remnants of an air pollution buildup in the north of India that may be cleared by the arrival of the storm (Cyclone Ockhi),” the NASA Earth said in an update posted on its website on December 4.
The northern part of India and especially Delhi has been witnessing rising air pollution and toxic smog due to stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana. On Sunday, Delhi-NCR inhaled toxins as at least seven out of 22 monitoring stations registered a “severe plus or emergency” level of air quality, forcing Sri Lankan cricketers to cover their faces with anti-pollution masks in a Test match at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.
The first week of November saw particularly dense smog envelope Delhi and the rest of the NCR, leading to both the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the union territory and the Centre facing tough questions over how and why the failed to battle a recurring problem. However, the situation has improved slightly since then.
A study by the government’s air quality research body SAFAR found that dust travelling thousands of kilometre from a severe storm in the Gulf was largely responsible for smog that choked Delhi and NCR. The analysis also revealed that stubble-burning in Punjab and Haryana contributed around 25 per cent.