A few days from today in 2019, I started a small project of keeping a photographic record of air quality of the area around me. I used to stay in IIT Delhi Campus and would click a picture of IIT’s main building from my hostel’s balcony, preferably in the early hours of 7:30 to 8:00 am. The project continued for a month. Over this time, stubble burning had just started and gradually became rampant by the first week of November. Then there was Diwali to add its own spice. The traffic of Delhi meanwhile was as always chaotic, adding to the release of particulates and toxic gases in Delhi’s air. All kinds of measures were being taken in these late hours. From odd-even policy for traffic control to talks on installation of huge air purifiers in and around Delhi, to agitation by political parties against each other, to celebrities sharing some air purifier that converts smog to diamond in China!!! The city was now choking with coughing citizens and masked people everywhere around. With winter showers, the time finally passed away with air quality going back to becoming unhealthy from hazardous. What a relief!
The same time is approaching now. The air may become the same, smoke laden with irritable volume of gases in a few days. There are talks on installation of a gigantic air purifier at Connaught Place by Delhi government. The testing times are near. Hopefully this year will be better than the last. And before I pen-off let me share the pictures of those dreadful days we faced last year. It started from 15 October and continued till 17 November.