The air quality in the national capital and the adjoining areas plunged to “very poor” levels on Wednesday as a blanket of toxic haze shrouded th city, affecting visibility and causing inconvenience to residents, PTI reported. The Delhi government attributed the dip in the air quality to rampant stubble burning in neighbouring states, a regular feature in October-November.
On Tuesday, the Graded Response Action Plan to curb air pollution in the national capital came into force. The plan, which has been in place since 2016, involved implementing stricter measures including banning the use of generator sets.
However, after the authorities admitted that the ban order would be difficult to implement, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has decided to hold a meeting with officials from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on Friday. Till then, the ban will be in place.
Delhi’s air quality has worsened after the burning of Ravan effigies on Dussehra on October 8. While it oscillated between ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’, it dropped to ‘hazardous’ for the first time this season on Tuesday.
Delhi’s air quality has worsened after the burning of Ravan effigies on Dussehra on October 8. Follow LIVE updates for data on pollution and AQI levels in Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon.
Air Quality in Noida, Gurgaon equally bad
IIT Kharagpur graduate develops device to curb air pollution
An IIT Kharagpur graduate has invented a device called "PM 2.5" which he claimed when fitted near the silencer pipe in vehicles will curb air pollution. Debayan Saha, a mechanical engineering graduate from IIT Kharagpur, who has invented the device claims that one car fitted with the device can neutralise the pollution emitted from 10 cars in its vicinity.
"The technology developed by us uses a combination of electric energy and wave energy to influence the pollutants like PM 2.5 such that they act like magnet attracting other particulate pollutants from the ambient atmosphere to get attached to it. As they grow bigger in size they become heavy and fall off safely on the ground like soil," said Saha, who was also a research fellow at AIIMS who worked on air pollution. PTI
Toxic haze over Delhi as air quality plummets to very poor category
A blanket of toxic haze shrouded the national capital region on Wednesday, as air quality in Delhi and the adjoining areas plunged to "very poor" levels, affecting visibility and causing inconvenience to residents. The Delhi government attributed the dip in the air quality to rampant stubble burning in neighbouring states, a regular feature in October-November.
The period between October 15 and November 15 is considered critical as maximum number of stubble burning incidents take place in this span in Punjab and adjoining states and is one of the main reasons for alarming spike in pollution in Delhi-NCR. "Air quality in Delhi has been good or moderate for the last 7-8 months, but they (pollution levels) have starkly gone up now... Clearly, the sudden spike in pollution is a result of smoke coming from outside," a Delhi government statement said. PTI
Data that stubble burning contributes just 10 per cent to Delhi pollution misleading: Kejriwal
A central government agency's claim that stubble burning in neighbouring states is responsible for only 10 per cent of the city's pollution is "misleading," Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday. SAFAR, the ministry of earth science's air quality and weather forecast service, had in a recent report said that the share of stubble burning in the PM 2.5 concentration in Delhi has remained less than 10 per cent so far.
PM 2.5 stands for particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter. Particles narrower than 10 micrometres are the most hazardous because they can get deep into the lungs, and some may even get into the bloodstream. Kejriwal questioned the basis of the analysis and said it is "misleading". PTI
Air quality 'very poor' at many places in Delhi-NCR
Many areas in the Delhi-National Capital Region recorded air quality in the "very poor" category on Wednesday morning, with particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in diameter being the primary pollutant. Delhi's overall Air Quality Index (299) also bordered "very poor" levels. On Tuesday, it stood at 270 at 4 pm. Seventeen of the 37 air quality monitoring stations in the national capital recorded the overall AQI in the "very poor" category, according to data of the Central Pollution Control Board.
Centre tells NGT, more subsidies will not reduce stubble burning
More subsidies to farmers are unlikely to reduce instances of stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, said a joint secretary from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Tuesday.
Joint Secretary Ashwani Kumar was responding to National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) question on whether financial burden was hindering farmers from procuring happy seeders and other such machines for environment-friendly disposal of paddy stalks.
Kumar said that instead of hiking subsidies for purchase of machines, the three state governments need to bring about a change in farmers’ behaviour.
Disabled persons to be exempted from rules of odd-even scheme
Persons with disabilities will be exempted from rules of the odd-even scheme, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday. The road-rationing scheme is set to return in the national capital for the third time from November 4-15. Two-wheelers and cars being driven by women are likely to be exempted from the scheme.
As per officials, the Delhi government is “not keen” on tweaking the list of exemptions drawn up before the first two phases of the policy’s implementation in 2016.
Delhi pollution: EPCA plans to increasing parking charges to avoid congestion
EPCA also told the Delhi government to fix fresh charges under the new parking policy, which states that surface parking will be more expensive than at multi-level parking spots. Under the ‘very poor’ GRAP category, parking charges can be raised 3-4 times the original amount to discourage people from driving and use public transport.
The Delhi government has recognised 13 pollution hotspots, and specific monitoring and action plans will be made to tackle each area. According to SAFAR officials, change in wind direction after monsoons will lead to calm winds, which leads to accumulation of pollutants.
Welcome to the Indian Express' live blog on Delhi pollution. Delhi’s air quality has worsened after the burning of Ravan effigies on Dussehra on October 8. Follow LIVE updates for data on pollution and AQI levels in Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon.