Smog returns to India capital as wind drops, farmers burn stubble

  • Smog returns to India capital as wind drops, farmers burn stubble

Smog returns to India capital as wind drops, farmers burn stubble

As the air quality in the capital started declining with the onset of the winter season, Delhi Chief Arvind Kejriwal announced a series of measures to contain the situation and launched a "War Against Pollution" campaign.

Severe air pollution in Delhi is a year-round problem, which can be attributed to unfavourable meteorological conditions, farm fires in neighbouring regions and local sources of pollution.

On Thursday, Delhi recorded an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 315 at 11:10 am. On Friday morning, the Air Quality Index was recorded at 285 in ITO, 243 in RK Puram and 259 in Anand Vihar, all three in the "poor" category, showed data from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) data.

The wind direction is partly favourable for transport of smoke from farm fires and "hence, an increase in contribution in Delhi's PM 2.5 is expected", SAFAR said. Even PM2.5 pollution will also come down by 0.4 tonnes.

"Stubble burning has also increased in neighbouring states".

He further said that out of the 1 crore registered vehicles in the national capital, even a small fraction of automobile owners could make a huge difference by killing their automobile engine at the traffic signals.

The CPCB said it has set up 50 teams which will keep an eye on violations leading to air pollution during winters.

In an oblique reference to the recent spat between Kejriwal and federal Environment Minister Prakash Javedkar on the cause of air pollution in the nation's capital, the pulmonologist, campaigning for cleaner air in Delhi, said there is no point in indulging in a blame-game.

IIT Kanpur, in a study commissioned by the Sheila Dikshit government, had estimated the total PM 10 emission load in the city at 143 tonnes per day and listed the top contributor as road dust (56%), and the PM 2.5 load at 59 tonnes/day, with the top contributors being road dust (38%) and vehicles (20%).

Health experts say high air pollution levels over a prolonged period have compromised the disease resistance of people living in New Delhi, making them more susceptible to the coronavirus.

According to an analysis by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, a Delhi-based think tank, transportation contributes the most-18 to 39 percent-to Delhi's air pollution.

The measures under GRAP, which was first implemented in Delhi-NCR in 2017, include increasing bus and metro services, hiking parking fees, and stopping the use of diesel generator sets when the air quality turns poor.

Earlier EPCA directed that large construction projects will have to provide undertakings that they will assure adherence to prescribed forms of dust management. "Last year, between 08 Oct-09 Dec, the share of Stubble burning in #AirPollution in Delhi (as per SAFAR data), was greater than15% on six days, while on a single day it was greater than 40%".