Leonardo DiCaprio, a dedicated environmental activist and Oscar-winning actor, took to his Instagram handle to share pictures of a protest in New Delhi to highlight the 'hazardous pollution levels'. "Over 1,500 citizens gathered in at India Gate, in New Dehli, to demand immediate action on the cities hazardous pollution levels. According to the World Health Organisation, air pollution in India is estimated to kill about 1.5 million people every year; these statistics make air pollution the fifth-largest killer in India," he wrote on social media. The actor used hashtags saying 'Solution Not Pollution', 'Rebel For Life', 'Right To Breathe'.
He also listed four points the government is taking to prevent air pollution. "People of all ages joined the demonstration, which succeeded to directly trigger action for Indian citizens," he wrote. DiCaprio also listed the groups and activists who organised the protest in New Delhi.
As the northern states in the country are gasping for clean air for the last 22 days, the central authorities on Monday tightened the noose around those violating anti-pollution norms. While the ministry of environment and pollution watchdog CPCB held a high-level meeting with chief secretaries of Delhi and neighbouring states to intensify crackdown on those responsible for illegal construction activities and industrial pollution, the Supreme Court appointed committee EPCA asked Delhi and neighbouring states to step up surveillance to check local sources of pollution.
Delhi has been choking in toxic air since Diwali last month. The air quality in the city had plummeted to 'very poor' after revellers brazenly flouted the SC-enforced two-hour limit for bursting crackers.
At 9 am on Monday, the air quality index (AQI) in the national capital stood at 207 against an AQI of 254 at the same time on Sunday. An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered "poor", 301-400 "very poor" and 401-500 "severe". Experts said strong winds due to western disturbance have helped disperse pollutants in Delhi-NCR and other parts of north India. On Sunday, the air quality index at 4 pm stood at 215, which falls in the "poor" category.
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