Thursday, 22 November, 2018

Right To Breathe: Delhi Chokes Amidst Severe Pollution

Environment ministry forms teams to report incidents of pollution Delhi air quality continues to be ‘very poor’, four areas fall under ‘severe’ category
Sandy Nunez | 03 November, 2018, 13:15

While twenty-nine monitoring stations located in different parts of the city recorded very poor air quality, four stations recorded severe air quality, PTI reported.

It has also asked them to ensure strict compliance to other Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) guidelines. "Implement the emission standards for coal-based thermal power plants as notified in December 2015 as soon as possible without any further delay and Disclose data on air pollutant emissions from all major point sources in the country on public platforms".

Authorities said that Delhi's air quality turned "severe" on October 30, with stubble burning intensifying in neighbouring states.

A woman walks along the road on a smoggy morning in Delhi.

The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) has urged Delhiites to use public transport for the first 10 days of November to keep a check on pollution.

Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has said, "The Delhi government is fully prepared to take measures as per Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), including the odd-even scheme are concerned".

Scaling up WHO's own Air Pollution programme, globally, regionally and in countries, including through establishment of a Trust Fund with other partners on climate, environment and health, which could access climate and environment finance directly.

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All industries using coal and biomass as fuel (excluding thermal and waste to energy plants) will remain closed in Delhi and NCR districts from November 4-10. The teams will be jointly flagged off byUnion Minister forEnvironment, Forest &Climate Change and the Minister from Government of Delhi.This decision was taken in a meeting held here today under the Chairmanship of Shri C.K. Mishra, Secretary, EF&CC to discuss the urgent steps for air pollution mitigation and regulating fire crackers in the light of the Hon'ble Supreme Court's Order.

At 8.30 a.m., the high humidity of 94 per cent trapped the pollution in the air.

Amid the deteriorating air quality in the national capital, the CPCB has also directed the state pollution control bodies of Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi to start criminal prosecution against agencies or individuals who do not comply with directives to check air pollution.

The air quality in Delhi has remained poor despite the government initiating steps.

"The prevailing meteorological conditions are less favorable for dispersal of pollutants for next two days due to low wind speed across the northern region", Dr. Gufran Beig, Project Director at System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) told the media.

For air quality to be severe, the PM2.5 must be between 250 and 300 or PM10 must be between 430 and 500, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The Air Quality Index (AQI) on Thursday was 393 in Delhi, considered "very poor" or near "severe".