According to a survey done by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), the toxic smog in New Delhi, that is now the world’s most polluted city will soon affect the city’s economy. Reports state that sectors like tourism, real estate, automobile and construction will get hampered if the government fails to curb the level of pollution in the capital.
The burning of crackers before and during Diwali, vehicular pollution and burning of crops over the last month has led to an increase of particulate matter in Delhi air, thus contributing to the Delhi smog, which is at the worst level in two decades.
The Assocham study stated that the smog has affected the health of the people living in the city and is hampering their ability to do their jobs efficiency. HR professionals from more than 150 company both public and private sectors were interacted with and the survey was conducted during the course of the past one week. The HR experts informed that they are facing staff crunch ranging between 5 to 10 per cent with growing number of employees falling sick.
According to the study, the most harmful for sedentary office workers is particulate matter, which can seep-in buildings through windows and vents thereby entering the blood stream and central nervous system, affecting concentration and mental performance. That is the reason many private companies are allowing their employees to work from home, while recovering from their illness.
DS Rawat, secretary general of Assocham while releasing the chamber’s survey commented, “Air pollution in Delhi-NCR is not just devastating the environment but harmful amount of gases, dust, fumes and odour are causing breathing problems to people. Companies should offer employees flexible working hours to cope with this problem.”
“Environment and air pollution related issues might hurt Brand India and hit sectors like tourism, outdoor recreation as people tend to stay away from polluted areas so as not to breathe in dense and toxic air,” he said.
According to a report published in Bloomberg, the rising discontent over air pollution could result in new attempts at banning diesel cars which would hit car-makers in Asia’s third largest auto-market.
Over the last few days, the Delhi government has announced the closure of schools for three days, a five-day ban on construction and demolition in the city and also proposed a temporary shut -down of a nearby coal fire plant.