According to the Ministry of Environment and Forest, planting 65,000 saplings should add 1 sq km forest/tree cover. Going by that yardstick, Delhi’s cover should have increased 13.84 sq km a year, but it has grown by only 5.83 sq km over the entire period.
Envoys of Finland, Iceland and Denmark, and the deputy mission of Norway were also present at the panel discussion on ‘India-Nordic Partnership: An Idea Whose Time Has Come’.
A thick layer of dust hung over Delhi last week, keeping the air quality ‘severe’. It seemed odd because it happened in the peak summer, which is generally considered the off-season for air pollution in Delhi.
The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) report also displayed a satellite image that showed a haze or dust cloud over north-west India on June 13, at an alarming peak of over 800 in the PM10 level.
The PM2.5 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 2.5 mm) that deteriorated from “very poor” to “severe” has now come to “moderate to poor” category. It was 98 in Delhi-NCR and Delhi today, the CPCB data said.
On Thursday, the air quality index for Delhi stood at 431, against 445 on Wednesday. The concentration of PM 10, the primary pollutant as of now, was 1,263 micrograms per cubic metre — 12 times the acceptable limit of 100 µg/m3.
Delhi-Meerut, Eastern Peripheral Expressways: The twin projects happen to be one of India’s most ambitious road network initiatives in recent times. Delhi-Meerut Expressway is expected to cut down the travel time between the two cities to 60 minutes.
That 14 of the 15 most polluted cities in the world are in India points to a public health emergency.
The enforcement wing of the Transport Department carries out regular checks of pollution standards of the buses coming to Delhi from neighbouring states. Buses not having valid PUC certificates are challaned, the minister said.
The bench said it will consider all the reports during further hearing of the matter on April 2
On January 25, the ministry notified an amendment to the environment protection rules making it mandatory for all projects that require clearance to implement dust mitigation measures.
The annual prescribed standard of the highly volatile compound — mainly a product of vehicle exhaust, fuel vapour and burning of wood — is 5 µg/m3, as per the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), 2009.
The improvement has been attributed to the action taken on the ground to control pollution. EPCA also decided to lift the very poor to severe air quality restriction under the Graded Response Action Plan for Delhi-NCR.
The 15-day ‘Clean Air for Delhi’ awareness campaign will see 70 teams of five members each fan out into every Assembly constituency. The teams will monitor sources of pollution and penalise polluters.
Though Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did not spell out specifics of the scheme in the Union Budget 2018, official sources said the Centre was likely to offer a 50% subsidy on equipment required to be installed.