Every year, as winter approaches, Delhi is enveloped in a thick shroud of smog, leading to hazardous levels of air quality that pose serious health risks to its residents. In the Capital city, air pollution shortens the lives of its residents by around 11.9 years, according to data released by Air Quality Life Index (AQIL).
Every year, to tackle the prevailing air pollution situation, the Delhi government takes several measures. This year too a 14-point action plan has been drawn out after a meeting that was attended by 200 representatives from both the government and the private sector on Monday. The Delhi Environment Minister, Gopal Rai, chaired this crucial meeting to combat air pollution, which included several previous measures such as blanket ban on bursting of crackers, strict curbs on construction activities, odd-even scheme to curb vehicular pollution, to name some measures.
The air quality of Delhi-NCR has been a matter of concern that fluctuates throughout the year. During the winter months, the city often experiences extremely poor air quality, with elevated levels of particulate matter and pollutants such as PM2.5 and PM10.
These microscopic particles can penetrate deep into the respiratory system, leading to a range of health issues, particularly among vulnerable populations. Despite efforts to combat air pollution, including measures like the odd-even vehicle scheme and the introduction of cleaner fuel standards, Delhi continues to grapple with air quality challenges, highlighting the need for sustained, multi-faceted initiatives to address this critical issue.
The government has released a 14-point set of guidelines to curb air pollution that was unveiled at the recent meeting. According to the guidelines, measures have been taken to reduce dust pollution, including provisions to construct walls around construction sites and the installation of anti-smog guns at large construction areas.
Stringent guidelines focus on responsible waste management, the use of wet jets during the grinding and cutting of building materials, and the appropriate paving of roads leading to construction sites. The guidelines also prioritise providing protective gear, such as anti-dust masks, for workers and ensuring proper medical assistance arrangements at construction sites.
Furthermore, the guidelines highlight a strict emphasis on responsible waste management, the use of wet jets during grinding and cutting of building materials, and the appropriate paving of roads leading to construction sites. They also establish safety guidelines for construction workers and mandate the usage of anti-dust masks during work hours.
The Delhi Government has stressed the need for the proper implementation of the proposed guidelines by both public and private entities. Failure to comply with these provisions will result in strict action against violators.