Dr Radha: The action points mentioned under 15 step winter action programme to combat air pollution in Delhi is already part of revised GRAP of Commission of Air Quality Management (CAQM). However, the most impressive part of it is that it was planned to implement from first week of October itself when the air quality was just in moderate category and before Delhi dips into poor and very poor AQI. Another impressive point is to create 586 teams of local volunteers with respective departments to monitor the effective implementation of all 15 winter action points to combat the air pollution in the city. Environment news updates in India.Ques 2). Why is it that such an unpleasant situation arises before us every time autumn sets in ? Environment news updates in India.
Dr Radha : Delhi being the capital of India is the most populous city in India having almost 4.5 times higher the population of its carrying capacity, which creates huge demands on its natural resources, be it water, air or soil. As a results, there is a sharp decline in the quality of these natural resources. When it comes to air quality, the geographical location of the city further favours to deteriorate its air quality especially when winters are approaching in the city every year and wind direction from the neighbouring states is towards Delhi. It’s a landlocked city, where pollution from all its north- western states reaches with the wind and get entrapped in the city to make it a smoke chamber. Environment news updates in India.Q
Ques3). Honourable Kejriwal claims that the pollution check strategy has been efficient and that it has been pulled down during the past couple of years. But then AQI (Air Quality Index) displays alarming numbers that refute this claim squarely. Environment news updates in India.
Dr Radha: Honourable Minister is claiming this on the basis of total number of good air quality days in a year in Delhi as compare to the previous years. But the AQI levels of October and November months in years 2019, 2020 and 2021 were worst than their previous years Inspite of the policies like GRAP were in place since 2017. Therefore, it’s difficult to say that this impact was due to effective implementation of the pollution check strategies of Delhi Govt. CM may take the credit of reducing the PM levels in Delhi by 18.6 percent since 2017 but more credit goes to restriction on activities during COVID lockdown.Ques 4). From starting anti-dust campaigns to forming 380 teams to ensuring a complete ban on fire cracker, what new and innovative do you see?
Dr Radha: Dust is one of the major component to worsen Delhi’s air quality and the anti- dust campaign is surely a good move with more stringent and precise areas to be implemented. However, there is a need for strict implementation and stringent monitoring of these moves as Delhi has witnessed the failure of all such campaigns in the past as well due to lack of proper awareness and education among citizens of the city and the poor enforcement of policies. Environment news updates in India.
Ques 5). Stubble burning always burn down the dream of ensuring a clean Delhi every year and why is it that a stable and long lasting solution to stubble buring is not uncovered so far. Last year we heard about compensating farmers with cash for not burning and now we see bio-decomposer spray to be used on 5 thousand acres of stretch to dissuade stubble buring. Environment news updates in India.
Dr Radha: Biomass burning is surely one of the major contributor to deteriorate Delhi’s air quality in winters whether it is from stubble burning from the fields of Punjab, Haryana and UP or from garbage burning in the city itself. There are different alternatives altogether the government is trying to provide to reduce the stubble burning from neighbouring states whether it is in form of technological in situ and ex- situ interventions like happy seeders, bio- decomposers, conversion of paddy to biofuels (biodiesels, biomethanation etc.) Environment news updates in India.
OR financial instruments like incentivizing or penalizing to the farmers to stop burning of paddies, wheat straws and sugarcane straws. Inspite all, situation has not improved. Therefore, there is a need to revisit the groundwater and agriculture policies of these states to make shift in transplantation of paddy by over a month led to the shrinking of the window between harvesting and planting the next rabi crop. This led to further intensification of stubble burning. Paddy stubble burning begins in the second week of October and lasts till the fourth week of November (about 48 days). It reaches its peak during the first week of November at the time when winter arrives in Delhi, the wind goes under calm condition, the atmospheric boundary layer comes close to the ground and all pollution comes from those fields get trapped in lower atmosphere of Delhi.About CMs Declaration: environment news updates in India.
Mr Kejriwal emphatically declared, “Winter is set to arrive. When winter arrives, we often witness a rise in pollution. All the preparations have been done to fight pollution. Over 20 million people of Delhi and our government have worked very hard to curb air pollution in Delhi over the last several years. As a result, the pollution in the city has reduced significantly in 2021-22 as compared to 2017-18, according to a report by the NCAP [National Clean Air Programme] of the government of India,.” Environment news updates in India.Further, even the public transport fleet will have electric buses as our honourable CM said, “The construction of Eastern Peripheral Expressway by the central government also helped fight pollution because it helped heavy vehicles bypass the Capital.” Environment news updates in India. This was on September 30th, that CM sir made such pronouncement.” Active monitoring will be done by 586 teams. Wherever there is a construction area of more than 5,000 square feet, anti-smog guns are now mandatory. The real-time monitoring of dust pollution will be done at the sites. Registration of the construction sites is also mandatory,” environment news updates in India. He also indicated that the city would keep 233 anti-smog guns. Environment news updates in India. He made numerous promises.” Enforcement to ensure that old and unfit vehicles do not ply will be carried out… 521 machines have been deployed for water sprinkling and 150 mobile anti-smog guns will be deployed. Around 203 routes, often congested, have been identified.” environment news updates in India. He came down heavily on garbage burning and said ” “More than 600 teams have been formed for this.” He made an addition that a ban has been in effect on crackers like every year. “Production and purchase of crackers are restricted and over 200 teams would oversee this enforcement.” environment news updates in India. Winding his mediacaddress, he said, “I am appealing to the neighbouring states to only allow CNG or electric vehicles to enter Delhi, as far as possible. They should direct industries to switch to PNG and provide 24×7 electricity in NCR. They can also stop industrial units from using polluting fuels and direct them to use PNG instead. Brick factories also cause a lot of pollution and they can order them to implement zig-zag techniques in manufacturing bricks… I am completely optimistic we will curb air pollution in winters with the cooperation of people of Delhi.” Environment news updates in India. Well dear readers, as for the efficacy of his measures, this is yet to seen and realized. Environment news updates in India.