‘Absolutely disgusting’: Indian celebrities lambaste govt over Delhi air pollution emergency
As Delhiites continue to suffer through a bout of extreme smog, irate celebrities, including Bollywood elites, have publicly criticized the government for perceived inaction over the growing public health crisis.
Film and TV star Priyanka Chopra is in Delhi to film her next project ‘The White Tiger’ and, despite expressing initial joy at filming in her home country, she quickly took to Instagram to share just how severe the air pollution is in the capital.
“It’s so hard to shoot here right now that I can’t even imagine what it must be like to live here under these conditions,” the actor said in the caption below her masked face. “Pray for the homeless. Be safe everyone.”
The seasonal smog is reaching ‘hazardous’ levels, with air quality now ranking in the ‘severe’ category at over 30 times the World Health Organisation’s safe daily limit of pollutants.
Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor also weighed in on the situation, sharing a pithy, wry tweet which read: “Breathlessness, Palpitation, moist eyes… you’re either in love or in Delhi.”
True that! pic.twitter.com/IjflixScMh
— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) November 3, 2019
His tongue-in-cheek remark drew criticism, with some accusing him of making light of the pollution from afar and mocking the plight of everyday Indians.
The smog has led to schools being closed across the city. Flights have also been delayed, diverted or cancelled and a public health emergency declared by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA).
— Sandeep (@SandeepUnnithan) November 4, 2019
Exasperated Bollywood actor and producer Arjun Rampal vented his frustration on Twitter, describing the situation as “absolutely disgusting.”
Just landed in Delhi,the air here is just unbreathable.Absolutely disgusting what has become of this city.The pollution is visible, dense smog. People arein masks. How much more disaster does one need to wake up and do the right thing? Tell ourselves we are wrong. #DelhiBachao
— arjun rampal (@rampalarjun) November 2, 2019
In an effort to curb emissions, Delhi has implemented an odd-even scheme in which vehicles are forbidden from being driven on certain days depending on the last digit of their registration plate. Critics say the government’s efforts do not go far enough.
The Delhi Govt has implemented its odd-even scheme once again, which limits the use of passenger cars in the National Capital.
— autoX (@autox) November 4, 2019
It took 12000 deaths for UK to enact the Clean Air Act 1956. What will it take for India? #DelhiAirEmergency
— Shamika Ravi (@ShamikaRavi) November 3, 2019
The smog is the result of a combination of industrial emissions, smoke from agricultural burning and, of course, monumental traffic in the world’s second most populated city. Some 2.5 million people in India died from pollution-related causes in 2015.
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