Delhi pollution: Pair of clean artificial lungs installed before Diwali turns completely black in six days

FP Staff
To cut air pollution, people in India first need to acknowledge, accept and realise that air pollution is going to kill them, says Dr Arvind Kumar who was part of the team which installed a pair of giant lungs outside Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi

As air quality remained "severe" in New Delhi, an installation depicting human lungs €" unveiled six days ago outside Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Rajender Nagar €" turned completely black on Friday.

The installation was set up on 3 November to raise awareness about the impact of air pollution on healthy lungs in the national capital.

The initiative was taken up by the hospital and NGOs Jhatkaa.org, Help Delhi Breathe, and Lung Care Foundation. In a statement, the hospital had said that the lungs have been fixed with white HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, which arrest very fine particles effectively.

According to data by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the overall air quality index (AQI) on Friday was recorded at 426, which falls in the "severe" category.

Speaking to News18, Arvind Kumar of the Lung Care Foundation said the organisers had thought it would take at least a month and a half for the lungs to get dark. "But the lungs changed colour in just 24 hours. On Day 6, the lungs have become completely black," he was quoted as saying.

Jhatkaa.org's Shikha Kumar told News18 that the display of the pair of artificial lungs was a part of a project in which they installed such lungs in several other cities. Once the lungs had darkened due to the pollution levels, the NGO sent bits of the lungs to various politicians as well as pollution control boards of all states of the country. She said that so far, only two states had responded to their initiative.

Despite a Supreme Court directive limiting the bursting of crackers to only two hours, a report by research group Urban Emissions said that close to 50 lakh kilograms of firecrackers were burst in Delhi on the day of Diwali. This was the same amount of firecrackers burst in 2017, and it equates to 1,50,000 kilograms of mass of PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres).

On the morning after Diwali, Delhi recorded its worst air quality of the year with the pollution level entering the "severe-plus emergency" category.

With inputs from PTI

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