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No new diesel vehicles to be registered in Delhi: NGT

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Diesel vehicles source: independent.co.uk

New Delhi: No new diesel vehicles would be registered in the national capital, the National Green Tribunal said on Friday.

It also questioned the Delhi government’s odd-even formula for vehicles to check air pollution and said the move may not achieve desired results.

“No new diesel vehicles would be registered in the national capital in the backdrop of rising air pollution and smog levels in the city,” the tribunal said.

The NGT also said the odd-even formula may make people buy two cars.

The Delhi government announced the odd-even formula in response to judicial warnings of rising air pollution, and after the Delhi High Court said that the national capital was becoming a “gas chamber”.

Delhi has nearly 90 lakh registered vehicles, almost a third of them cars. Some 1,500 new vehicles are added every day.

(IANS)

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Mornings are worst air pollution times in Delhi and other major cities

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A view of Delhi: Wikimedia Commons

If you think mornings are the best time for outdoor exercise, you’re wrong.

Mornings experience the worst air pollution in four Indian cities, according to an analysis of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 data from IndiaSpend’s #Breathe air-quality sensors in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai between March 15 to April 15 2016.

Delhi: Best air quality —4 pm

Mornings were the worst time, with PM 2.5 levels reaching as high as 108.16 µg/m3 at 7 am. Air quality gradually improved as the day wore on, registering the cleanest air at 4 pm. (22.84 µg/m3). Pollution levels then picked up through the night.

Delhi topped the list of the world’s most-polluted cities, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Bengaluru: Best air quality–midnight

The worst air was at 7 am, as PM 2.5 concentrations peaked at 61.54 micrograms per cubic metre of air (µg/m3). The air quality improved as the day wore on, worsening by evening at about 5 pm, reaching a late-evening high at 7 pm (57.60 µg/m3). The best air quality was registered around midnight, when PM 2.5 levels fell as low to 40.12 µg/m3.

Chennai: Best air quality—3 pm

The worst air was at 7 am, with PM 2.5 levels (61.54 µg/m3) reached their peak. Levels began to peak over the night and slide during the day, after 7 am. The best air quality was recorded in the afternoon, at 3 pm, with PM 2.5 levels reaching as low as 20.76 µg/m3.

 

Mumbai: Best air quality—5 pm

The worst hour for a Mumbaikar is 8 am, with PM 2.5 levels reaching 48.61 µg/m3; the air started to worsen after 5 am. The best air quality was registered at 5 pm, when PM 2.5 levels were 22.38 µg/m3.

Outdoor air pollution causes 670,000 deaths annually in India, according to a 2014 research paper from the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad.

Air pollution has become a global concern with rising air pollution levels, as outdoor air pollution in cities and rural areas across the world estimated to cause 3.7 million premature deaths in 2012, according to the WHO.

Particulate matter is the term for particles found in the air, including dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets. These are classified according to their diameter. Particles less than 2.5 µm (micrometres) are called PM 2.5. They are approximately 1/30th the average width of a human hair. Particles between 2.5 to 10 µm in diameter are called PM 10.

PM 10 and PM 2.5 include inhalable particles that are small enough to penetrate the thoracic region of the respiratory system. The health effects of inhalable PM are well documented, caused by exposure over both the short-term (hours, days) and long-term (months, years). They include: Respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity such as aggravation of asthma, respiratory symptoms, and an increase in hospital admissions; and mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and from lung cancer.

There is good evidence of the effects of short-term exposure to PM 10 on respiratory health, but for mortality, and especially as a consequence of long-term exposure, PM 2.5 is a stronger risk factor than the coarse part of PM 10.

There is a close relationship between exposure to high concentrations of small particulates (PM 10 and PM 2.5) and increased mortality and morbidity from cardiovascular/respiratory diseases and cancer, both daily and over time, according to the WHO.

(In arrangement with IndiaSpend.org, a data-driven, non-profit, public interest journalism platform. The views expressed are those of India Spend. Feebback at respond@indiaspend.org)

–IANS/IndiaSpend

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Delhi students studying in polluted school air: Report

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New Delhi: Giving a hit to the Delhi government’s claims of improvement in the atmosphere of the city through the odd-even scheme, a Greenpeace India study found high levels of metals in the air. Though, the samples were collected since last October.

The high density of metal in air impacts the cognitive and motoric development of a child. Samples were collected from schools in Paschim Vihar, Tagore garden and Meera bagh and testing was done in England.

Report said that most of the sample showed the dangerous level of metallic presence in the air. In Paschim Vihar, the level of cadmium exceeded the safe limit and in Tagore Garden, it was arsenic concentration. Same way in Meera Bagh, the levels of lead and nickel were too much.

The concerning factor is that samples were collected from schools which mean Children are exposed to dangerous air and it can lead them to diseases like cancer.

“Exposure to even small quantities continuously can be hazardous. The result signifies that schoolchildren are exposed to exceeding levels of heavy metals that increase the risk of cancer and developmental problems. More the PM2.5 concentrations, higher will be the exposure to heavy metals,” said Sunil Dahiya, campaigner, Greenpeace India.

Greenpeace report suggested that Delhi needs to take strict action to counter this and reduce the children’s exposure to the polluted atmosphere.

Delhi was declared one of the most polluted city which forced Delhi government to roll out odd even scheme to counter it. Today, coincidently marks the end the practice of odd even scheme. The data of these 15 days will be collected and on the basis of its results, a decision will be taken whether this scheme will be back or not in future.

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Air pollution takes upto 30,000 lives annually in Delhi: CSE

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Air pollution
source: dubeat.com

New Delhi: Air pollution, one of the top ten killers in the world and fifth leading cause of death in India, is responsible for about 10,000 to 30,000 deaths annually in Delhi, a report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said on Tuesday.

A report titled ‘Body Burden 2015: State of India’s Health’ released here focuses on public health threats and their environment linkages.

It says air pollution results in about 620,000 premature deaths which are caused by stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ischemic heart disease, lower respiratory infections and trachea, bronchus and lung cancer among others.

CSE director general Sunita Narain also expressed her concerns in this matter.

The report shows us that we must focus on prevention and not treatment. We need to improve the environment reduce the disease burden and save money in private or public healthcare.

Forest degradation that help the pathogens which were restricted to animals, jump the species barrier and infect humans, the report states. Open defecation and malnutrition rates are also linked, it adds.

Revamping transportation systems and cleaner technologies are needed urgently.

The analysis includes air pollution, pesticides, degradation of forests, water and sanitation, climate change and lifestyle diseases. From January 1, the odd-even formula would be followed in Delhi. Vehicles with odd-even number plates would be allowed to run on the rotation every other day. (IANS)