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Capital’s air quality has deteriorated: Delhi Economic Survey

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Image courtesy The Hindu
Image courtesy the Hindu
Image courtesy the Hindu

New Delhi: The air quality in Delhi has worsened considerably in past few years, according to the Economic Survey of Delhi 2014-15 released on Wednesday

The PM10 – particulate matter or the mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets like acids, chemicals, gas, water, metals, soil dust particles, whose concentration defines the level of pollution in a city -levels rose from 282 microgrammes per cubic metre (mcg/m3) in 2013 to 318 mcg/m3 in 2014 while the standard level was 60 mcg/m3, the survey said.

The PM10 level in 2010, 2011 and 2012 was 249, 281, and 293 mcg/m3 respectively.

The survey report said that the city suffers from air pollution caused by transportation, road dust, industries and domestic air emissions.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee presently monitors air quality through six online continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations at six locations – R.K. Puram, Mandir Marg, Punjabi Bagh, I.G.I Airport, Anand Vihar and Civil Lines.

The concentration of PM 2.5 varied from 125 mcg/m3 to 191 mcg/m3 over the last year as opposed to the annual standard of 40 mcg/m3. The minimum was observed at Mandir Marg and maximum at Anand Vihar, the survey revealed. 

According to survey report, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentration has shown a marginal increase as compared to 2011, while the highest annual average was observed in 2012 (118.2 mcg/m3). In 2014, the average value was 79 mcg/m3.

The minimum value was observed at R.K. Puram and maximum at Punjabi Bagh and the higher values may be due to high vehicular density in the area, the survey said. At all the monitoring locations, annual average exceeded the prescribed standard of 40 mcg/m3.

The levels of carbon monoxide in 2014 varied from 1.28 mcg/ m3 to 2.64 mcg/m3 . The minimum was observed at Mandir Marg and maximum at Civil Lines. Except the latter, at all other locations, CO is under the prescribed standard of 2 mcg/m3 .

The report also states that besides human and environmental damage, pollution has caused economic damage as well. The report held vehicular pollution as the main source of air pollution in Delhi.

It is estimated that air pollution generated from industrial activity in Delhi is about 20 percent of total air pollution, report said.

(IANS)

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Save the Planet: Top 5 Eco-Friendly Vehicles in India that You can Drive!

Not only daily transport vehicles, even personal vehicles are being modified in the hope of a pollution-free environment

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Representational Image (Eco-friendly car), Pixabay

Nov 17, 2016: Being the home to 1.2 billion people, the increasing rate of pollution in India has become a very important topic these days. It has one of the largest road transport networks in the world. Almost 65% of the pollution in India is caused by automobile-induced pollutants.

Recently, for the sake of a greener and healthier environment, the idea of eco-friendly vehicles has been well-received in the Indian automobile market. For a long time, rickshaws and bicycles have been a part of daily transportation in the suburban and urban areas. Now these eco-friendly options are being much more valued than auto-rickshaws and engine-vans that produce a lot of carbon monoxide and other pollutant gases in a large scale. No wonder these eco-friendly vehicles have been commercially so successful in such a short span of time.

[bctt tweet=”Battery operated miniature autos, locally called “toto”, have gained immense popularity in India.” username=””]

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In West Bengal, the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has recently introduced the “Sabuj-sathi” scheme to distribute bicycles among the high school seniors. Hand-pulled and peddled rickshaws have been a common daily transport scenario in Kolkata and recently battery operated miniature autos, locally called “toto”, have gained immense popularity.

An Indian woman crosses a road as vehicles move through morning smog on the last day of a two-week experiment to reduce the number of cars to fight pollution in New Delhi, Jan. 15, 2016. VOA
An Indian woman crosses a road as vehicles move through morning smog on the last day of a two-week experiment to reduce the number of cars to fight pollution in New Delhi, Jan. 15, 2016. VOA

These mostly six-seater vehicles are powered by solar-charged or electric batteries and these evoke no smoke, as in these cause no pollution. They are fast and light-weight and they make no sound as well- that’s why a number of auto drivers are drawn towards these too. In simple word, these “totos” are a much hassle free, faster, greener alternative to typical autos and such local transport vehicles.

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Mr. Shyam Sundar Bagchi, the founder of eco-friendly local transport vehicles’ drivers’ forum in Kolkata, said in an interview, “Pollution is not a joke. The way our daily vehicles are responsible for that is much more disheartening. Since we can’t cut down our daily transportation needs, we must cut down the rate of pollution we cause. That’s why we need more battery operated vehicles.”

Not only daily transport vehicles, even personal vehicles are being modified in the hope of a pollution-free environment. New and environment-friendly mobility solutions are engaging the automobile industry like never before. From two-wheeler to passenger and commercial vehicle manufacturers, companies are keen on exploiting the electric and hybrid technology. Companies like Toyota, Volvo, Hero even BMW have taken interest in these.

Here is a list of the top 5 hybrid/electric cars available in India:

  • Mahindra e2o
  • Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid | Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid | Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • BMW i8
  • Mahindra eVerito

Finally, all that can be said about these eco-friendly vehicles is that India needs more and more of these if we really wish to work on our pollution problem. In personal and local transport system, much more eco-friendly vehicles have to be introduced. A very small number of Indians are actively using these vehicles; the number must increase.

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The cost of such vehicles should be decreased so that more and more common people can afford them. We all should take initiative to inform people about the positive sides of eco-friendly mobility solutions. With pollution levels in our metropolitan cities on the rise, eco- friendly transport alternatives can help us accomplish our coveted goal of an environment free of pollution.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram with inputs from agencies. Twitter: @dubumerang

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This year, Diwali in Delhi expected to be significantly more Polluted than in Past Two Years

The Air Quality Index will be 443 on Sunday, or the Diwali day, and reach 472 the day after

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People using Firecrackers to celebrate Diwali,. Flickr

New Delhi, October 29, 2016: Diwali this year in Delhi is expected to be significantly more polluted than in the previous two years.

According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) of the Ministry of Earth Science, the air quality in the National capital region will be “severe” on October 30 and 31 and “worst” on October 31.

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The Air Quality Index (AQI) will be 443 on Sunday, or the Diwali day, and reach 472 the day after. The AQI between 300 to 400 is rated as very poor, and above 400 is rated as severe.

[bctt tweet=”The Air Quality Index (AQI) will be 443 on Sunday, or the Diwali day, and reach 472 the day after.” username=””]

“The highest levels of PM10 and PM2.5 are expected between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the night of October 30 and 31. The air quality will be worst on October 31 and will start to improve from November 1,” says the SAFAR forecast.

There is enough moisture in the air and winds are stagnant, and atmospheric holding capacity of the emissions coming from firecrackers has increased. The highest levels of PM10 and PM2.5 are expected between 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. on the night of October 30-31.

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PM10 is particulate matter 10 micrometers or less in diameter and PM2.5 is particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter.

While Noida is expected to be the most polluted area, Lodhi Road in Delhi is expected to be least polluted.

Incidentally, the levels of particulate matter were significantly low in 2016 as compared to 2014 and 2015, but since October 25, started to become significantly higher.

Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) Senior Scientist M.P. George attributed paddy stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana for this year’s Diwali being more polluted than in 2014 and 2015.

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“One of the chief reasons behind this Diwali being significantly more polluted than last two years, is crop burning in Punjab and Haryana,” said George.

“While every year around this time, farmers in Haryana and Punjab set paddy stubble ablaze to prepare for the next crop season, the pollution this year has been more,” he said .

As per SAFAR health advisory, when the AQI is severe, people should avoid all physical activity outdoors. (IANS)

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Delhi HC seeks comprehensive action plan to curb increasing air pollution

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday, expressing serious concern on the increasing air pollution in the capital “akin to living in a gas chamber“, asked the central and city government to act strongly to curb pollution and present “comprehensive action” plans to combat it.

Saying pollution levels in Delhi have reached “alarming levels”, a division bench of Justice BD Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva directed them to file comprehensive action plans, saying it is the need of the hour, and termed the plans filed by the union environment ministry and Delhi government “not comprehensive”.

Saying living in such an overpopulated city is similar to “living in a gas chamber”, the bench said: “There must be an action plan along with a timeline and responsibilities of each authority.”

The court posted the matter for December 21.

Acting on an application filed before the bench to provide protective gear or masks to traffic police who are directly exposed to outdoor air pollution all through the day, which has been affecting their health, it asked the department to ensure protective masks be given to them.

The court also said two major causes of air pollution in Delhi were “dust particles” and “vehicular emissions”. It asked the central and Delhi governments to ensure no construction of buildings or roads be carried out in Delhi without first ensuring that generation of dust was minimized.

Both the governments should ensure that there are no construction activities carried out in Delhi without ensuring that dust is minimized,

The Delhi government should ensure that garbage, plastics, and leaves are not burned by people in the open, as was directed by the National Green Tribunal, said the court. It also directed the city administration to publicize in print, audio, and visual media that such practices are prohibited.

Since the SDMs (sub-divisional magistrates) and tehsildars are authorized for a surprise visit to check the construction work with regard to dust generation from construction sites and burning of leaves and garbage, the Delhi government shall file an affidavit on action taken by them,

The court was hearing a PIL initiated by it on the issue of increasing air pollution in the national capital.

(Inputs from IANS)

(Picture Courtesy:-india.blogs.nytimes.com)