As winters are almost here, air pollution in Delhi and NCR is back owing to various factors including calm winds and low temperature that allows accumulation of pollutants, stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, vehicular emissions and other local sources of pollution.
Starting October 15, some stricter measures to fight air pollution will come into force in Delhi and its neighbouring National Capital Region (NCR) towns, as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The action plan has been in effect for three years in Delhi and NCR.
Here are all the live updates you need to know:
Delhi pollution: Several Areas Enter 'Severe' Zone
Delhi's air quality deteriorated on Friday morning with several areas in the national capital recording 'severe' levels of pollution, according to authorities.
The air quality index (AQI) on Friday was recorded at 374 as compared to 302 on the previous day
Ten monitoring stations in Delhi entered the 'severe' zone, according to the AQI monitoring mobile application SAMEER, developed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
CPCB's Air lab initiated Continuous Ambient Air Quality Morning at the hotspot of Anand Vihar.
'Red Light On, Gaadi Off'' campaign to be implemented in all Delhi constituencies
The Delhi government has decided to implement its ''Red Light On, Gaadi Off'' anti-pollution initiative in all 70 assembly constituencies from next week, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said.
Rai, who visited the Tilak Marg-Bhagwan Das crossing traffic signal here on the second day of the campaign, told reporters that several MLAs are also participating in the drive and spreading awareness.
Blue Skies then versus now in Noida
Air pollution may increase the transmissibility of coronavirus making people more vulnerable to the disease: Doctors
According to doctors, respiratory illnesses like viral influenza increase with a spike in pollution levels as poor air quality leads to inflammation in the lungs making it more vulnerable for the virus to penetrate.
"This year, we have COVID-19. Like the common cold, the transmission of this virus is expected to increase with a rise in pollution levels. We may see a further surge in cases"- Dr Neeraj Nischal, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at AIIMS.
State of Global Air Report
Long-term exposure to outdoor and household air pollution contributed to over 6.7 million annual deaths in 2019. A new global study by State of Global Air on air pollution’s health effects worldwide. (Read more here.)
Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)
Starting October 15, some stricter measures to fight air pollution came into force in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) towns, as part of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The action plan has been in effect for three years in Delhi and NCR now.
AQ forecast for India in the next few days
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the pollution problem cannot be resolved in a day and continuous efforts are needed to tackle each of the contributing factors.
Interacting with people during a Facebook Live event, he said the major factors behind air pollution in the country are traffic, industries, waste, dust, stubble, geography, and meteorology.
“The pollution problem cannot be resolved in one day. Continuous efforts needed to tackle each contributing factor,” the Minister said.
Kejriwal launches ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ campaign to cut down on air pollution
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has launched a new anti-pollution campaign under which people will be encouraged to switch engines of their vehicles off while waiting at traffic signals.
The ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ campaign will aim to bring a behavioural change in that regard. It will help reduce air pollution,” said Kejriwal in a video press briefing.
He added, “Around 10 million vehicles are registered in Delhi. Even if 1 million of them actively follow the campaign, experts suggest that it can reduce PM 10 emissions by 1.5 tonnes a year and PM 2.5 emissions by 0.4 tonnes a year.”
A look at the AQI's of different cities (October 15)
CPCB to deploy 50 teams in Delhi, NCR as pollution levels rise
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) will deploy 50 teams for extensive field visits from October 15 to ensure strict vigilance as pollution levels mount in Delhi and adjoining areas.
The teams will visit Delhi and adjoining and nearby cities such as Noida, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ballabgarh, Jhajjar, Panipat, and Sonepat.
CPCB teams will monitor sources of pollution at ground level and polluting activities for immediate action. The teams will focus on hotspot areas where the problem gets aggravated.
Delhi pollution: Electricity generators to be banned from 15 Oct, essential services exempted
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on Wednesday banned the use of electricity generator sets of all capacities, running on diesel, petrol, kerosene from 15 October to tackle air pollution in the winter season.
However, essential and emergency services like hospitals, railways will remain exempted, according to the DPCC.
Kejriwal kick-starts use of bio-decomposer solution
CM Arvind Kejriwal & Environment Minister Gopal Rai kick-start sprinkling of the bio-decomposer solution, prepared by Pusa Research Institute, at Hiranki Village in Narela.
The solution will convert the stubble into compost & help in doing away with the practice of burning it.
MCG prepares action plan to implement Grap measures
The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has announced a host of measures to be taken to ensure the enforcement of Graded Response Action Plan (Grap) from October 15, including the setting up of an air lab under its environment and sustainability wing for monitoring air quality on a daily basis, said the civic body officials.
NCRTC fined Rs 50 lakh for violating air pollution norms: Gopal Rai
The National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) has been fined Rs 50 lakh for not taking dust-control measures at a construction site here, Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said.
The minister, who was on a visit to inspect demolition sites at Netaji Nagar and Kasturba Nagar, noticed uncovered mounds of dust at the NCRTC site near Vikas Sadan.
Rai said they have brazenly flouted dust-control norms despite strict directions from the government.
Environment marshals to be deployed to check violations of anti-pollution norms
Delhi Cabinet approves tree transplantation policy; proposal for smog tower installation
The Delhi Cabinet has approved a tree transplantation policy to prevent the felling of trees due to development works in the national capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.
The tree transplantation policy passed by the Delhi government is the first by any state in the country, officials said. Under this, 10 saplings will be planted in addition to the whole tree being dug up with the root intact and scientifically transplanted at another location instead of being felled.
The Cabinet has also approved a proposal to install a ‘smog tower’ in Delhi’s Connaught Place to deal with air pollution.
The government has stationed Rs 20 crore, and the tower will come up in 10 months, the chief minister said, claiming that it will be the first of its kind in the world.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai inaugurates the 'Green War Room' under the government's anti-pollution campaign
Coronavirus risk may go up on exposure to urban air pollutants: Study
The risk of Coronavirus may enhance on exposure to urban air pollutants, suggests a research study.
"Both long-term and short-term exposure to air pollution has been associated with direct and indirect systemic impact on the human body by enhancing oxidative stress, acute inflammation, and respiratory infection risk," says Donghai Liang of Emory University, co-first author on the recent paper along with Liuhua Shi.
In a recent study, researchers analyzed key urban air pollutants, including fine particle matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3), across 3,122 counties in the United States from January to July.
Delhi Chief Minister has launched the anti-pollution campaign for a clean and green Delhi
Delhi Chief Minister today launched the anti-pollution campaign for a clean and green Delhi."From today, we are starting a campaign against pollution, "Yudh Pradushan Ke Virudh" to reduce pollution levels in the national capital. As part of the campaign, we'll be using a technology developed by Pusa Agriculture Institute, to curb the menace of stubble burning," Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said.
Launching the anti-air pollution campaign, Kejriwal said that the polluted air can be life threatening this year in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
"An anti-dust campaign is being initiated by Delhi Government to settle dust, especially at construction sites," Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal said that 13 pollution hot spots have been identified in Delhi, and customized plans of action are being made for each area, according to their respective causes of pollution.
SC notice to centre on plea to Ban stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana
The Supreme Court has sought a response from the Central government and others on a petition seeking directions to ban stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, which causes massive air pollution in the national capital in winters.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests as well as the governments of Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi. Issue notice returnable on October 16, the Bench also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian said.
The apex court was hearing a plea filed by environmental activist and Class 12 student Aditya Dubey and law student Aman Banka, who sought directions to provide free of cost stubble removing machines to small and marginal farmers to check high particulate matters in the air.
Farm fires in the last 5 days, captured
"On one hand, the farmers are desperately trying to make a living & catering to the nation’s food security. On the other, many citizens face the risks of increased air pollution."
(Read the full article here)