Delhi pollution: What Kejriwal govt is doing to improve air quality

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal chaired an emergency Cabinet meeting on Sunday afternoon to discuss the rising pollution levels in the city.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: November 6, 2016 3:09 pm
delhi pollution, delhi pollution news, smog, smog in delhi, arvind kejriwal, manish sisodia, delhi government, delhi pollution measures, delhi pollution index, delhi pollution data, delhi pollution health, air pollution, air pollution in india, india news, indian express, Commuters at a street of New Delhi which is covered with dense smog as pollution hits hazardous levels. (Source: PTI)

After chairing an emergency Cabinet meeting on rise in air pollution,  Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced a ban on construction and demolition activity for the next five days and shutting down the city’s Badarpur power plant for the next 10 days. Except for emergency services, generator sets are not allowed to function in Delhi for the next 10 days. Sprinkling of roads will begin from Monday and vacuuming from November 10 to contain dust pollution, Kejriwal said.

Officials will bear financial penalties if leaves burning cases are reported in their area, he added. Preparations to implement the Odd-Even road rationing scheme are to begin again, the chief minister said. He also announced that schools in the city were to remain shut for the next three days.

On October 31, the day after Diwali, the city woke up to the season’s worst air quality as smoke from Diwali fireworks, coupled with moisture and nearly stagnant wind movement, shrouded the city in a thick cover of smog. Commuters found it difficult to find their way as the visibility level had plunged to near zero levels in many areas.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had on November 1 called a high-level preparatory meeting where he said the government would have to take “aggressive” measures to curb air pollution at the onset of winter in the capital.

Sisodia had held the meeting with various departments, and had announced that the government was to take measures including the use of sprinklers and mist fountains, smoke tappers in crematoriums, and a waste management system to minimise the emission of methane gas released due to burning at landfill sites.

Since dust is a major contributor to air pollution, various dust control measures, including vacuum cleaning of roads, sprinkling water through jets, and installation of air purifiers and mist fountains will be carried out, Sisodia had said.

Sprinklers, he said, would prevent dust from rising and dust particles would flow into drains with the water. Vacuum cleaning and sprinkling of water on all roads will be conducted on a weekly basis, he said.

The minister said about 90 per cent of the dust comes from construction sites, and that there are 61 major sites in Delhi. “We will ask people to come forward with complaints. When complaints are received, we will take action against them,” the deputy chief minister had said.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee has been asked to take regular action against construction sites with a built up area of over 20,000 sq m, and submit a detailed note to Sisodia, said government officials.

Sisodia said while the use of wood at crematoriums is common, burning of wood adds to air pollution. “This is a matter of religion and sentiments, that is why we will not interfere with it. Instead, the environment department will involve the MCDs that control crematoriums and install smoke tappers in them to make them green crematoriums.”

He added that most of the crematoriums in the city were located in densely populated areas, and all available technology will be used to curb air pollution.

On Saturday, Kejriwal described Delhi as a toxic gas chamber and blamed neighbouring state farmers for adding to the city’s pollution woes by burning crop stubble. “Pollution levels in Delhi are so high that Delhi has become a gas chamber. Smoke from other states because of stubble burning and meteorological factors are responsible. The environment minister should call an emergency meeting of the chief ministers of Delhi and its neighbouring states on Monday so that immediate steps to tackle the issue can be taken… This situation needs the intervention of the Centre at the highest level. Farmers should be given incentives to find alternates to burning stubble,” said Kejriwal after meeting Union Minister for Environment Anil Madhav Dave.

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  1. K
    Nov 6, 2016 at 9:53 am
    Is he busy in complaining modi, he will come slowly for this? And for lokpal?
    1. A
      Nov 6, 2016 at 10:04 am
      1. D
        Nov 6, 2016 at 10:12 am
        Tinpot socialist Kejri has no vision for Delhi. His unimplementable and irrational solutions can't solve a serious issue like air polltion in Delhi. He has to sit with CMs of Punjab,Haryana and invest in projects related to composting,biogas etc. He is such a man who can blame but not cooperate. AAP govt is indiscriminately giving licences of autos in Delhi. It has to be checked but he won't as autowalas are his core votebank. Autos pollute a lot. You need a man who can take hard decisions but populist Kejri can not do that. He is not focusing on vacuum cleaning because if it is done,people will praise MCD. He is more concwrned about votes and not people's health. Illeval industries too pollute a lot. Cooperation with Delhi Police ia necessary to close these but Kejri won't talk to them. He will call them thullas,insult them but won't cooperate with them. As long as this disgusting man Kejri is there,it seems difficult to solve this problem. It's wrong to blame him for pollution but his dirty politcs is definitely our health. We are living in a dangerous environment.
        1. R
          Nov 6, 2016 at 2:14 pm
          Rajinder Bhatialt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Kejriwal is behaving like a king of Utopia. Instead of taking the dust to dump yard, he would sprinkle water on it as if the dust would get settled permanently and water would stay for ever. He bans use of generator without permitting use of electric power . He enters the crematorium without knowing the number of cremations per day and the quantum of their pollution. He shuts the schools for few days as if the problem would last for a short while. To me, he looks like a wise man who advised the villagers to shave off the mustaches of the dead man who was heavy weighted to facilitate his transportation to the graveyard. Kejriwal knows that polluted air has been injected by the P.M. Wah re Kejriwal!