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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Delhi: Air quality panel pushes for work from home culture

Delhi’s air quality remained severe for the fifth day in a row, with the AQI at 477 — highest of the season so far.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | November 10, 2020 4:43:35 am
Delhi: Air quality panel pushes for work from home cultureOn Sunday, the Air Quality Index in Delhi was 426. (Express file photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

“Encourage work from home” is one of the 10 “major immediate measures” suggested by the newly set up Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in NCR and Adjoining areas. The members of the Commission — which held its first meeting Monday — reviewed the air quality scenario and actions taken by various agencies on this front.

Delhi’s air quality remained severe for the fifth day in a row, with the AQI at 477 — highest of the season so far. On Sunday, this was 426. “Low dispersion condition continued in Delhi, along with high fire-related intrusion. This has led to accumulation of pollutants near the surface… Air quality is forecast to be in the severe category Tuesday and likely to improve to the higher end of very poor by November 11…,” SAFAR officials said.

Among other measures identified by the Commission are “minimising use of personal transport”, “restricting travel unless essential”, “use of anti-smog guns at pollution hotspots especially at construction sites”, and dust-control measures such as “intensifying water sprinkling”.

The Commission also emphasised on “strict enforcement to prevent burning of municipal solid waste and biomass”, and “strict implementation of extant rules, Courts and Tribunal orders regarding stubble burning and use of fire-crackers”. Noting the need to consult various stakeholders in the future, it mentioned the need for “active public involvement” and sought “cooperation from civil society and public spirited citizens to report air pollution incidents on the Sameer app”.

Police to monitor cracker inventory

The Delhi government has directed police to monitor inventory of shops issued licences to sell crackers before the ban to prevent illegal sale. “Joint CP (Licencing) shall prepare daily reporting format to check inventory of such shops to ensure no illegal stocking/possession/attempted sale of any kind firecracker, including illegally imported firecracker takes place,” states the SOP issued by DPCC. Environment Minister Gopal Rai said violators will be prosecuted under the Air Act, 1981.

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