Panic-stricken Delhi residents fighting with air pollution now face another major problem — the markets are running out of face masks due to increased demand.
"I am ready to wait for an entire day, but I am not going without buying masks today," said an angry customer to a shop assistant in Delhi's Khan Market shopping center.
Delhi residents have even tried out placing orders online for the masks through e-commerce websites but the delivery time is too long.
“Since I could not procure a mask from a store I have placed an order online but the website says it will be delivered in a week’s time,” said Kaumudi Das, a software engineer.
This dire situation has caused a shortage of air purifiers in the market, and people are desperate, they don’t have any other option to avoid inhaling hazardous air, schools were shut down and people advised to work from home.
According to a new study excess pollution is reducing the life expectancy of 660 million Indians by 3.2 years.
According to Chandra Bhushan of the Centre for Science and Environment, pollution levels were the worst in the season so far.
Delhi government has flagged crop burning in Punjab and Haryana as a major factor contributing to the rising air pollution in the national capital and said it peaks during the night hours due to low wind speed in comparison to day time.
Josh Hoffman, a U.S. national who has been living in Delhi for extended periods, said that "this year the air been particularly toxic."
"I ride a motorbike and I thought a face mask may help me and that is why I am standing in this line," he added.
Earlier, hundreds of people protested over Delhi’s poor air quality control.
Protests are carried out all over Delhi to bring the issue to the government's notice.
Activists have come forward to help the people of Delhi survive with toxic air.
Pollution Level of Delhi is Increasing Day By Day due to negligence of Delhi Government. We have Distributed Free Face Mask TODAY at— ROHIT CHAHAL (@rohit_chahal) November 7, 2016
The issue is not new for the government, as many residents left Delhi for good last year, due to air pollution.
Jessica Farmer, whose children study in Delhi said, “It is as though we are under siege.”
“We can’t go outside, to malls or movies where the air is not purified, she said.
“How can one live like this?”