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300 Teams in the Field in Delhi to Fight Air Pollution

The Chief Secretaries of these states have been asked to monitor the situation in various districts on a 24x7 basis

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Delhi, Polluted, Air
According to airvisual.com, Delhi topped the AQI rankings while Lahore with AQI 356 is the second in the ranking followed by Dhaka (182), Krakow (165), Ulaanbaatar (162), Wroclaw (158), Guangzhou (157), Wuhan (153), Chongqing (152) and Kathmandu (151). Pixabay

The Central government is keeping a close watch on the situation arising out of elevated air pollution levels in Delhi-NCR.

Officials pointed out that about 300 teams are in the field in Delhi to reduce air pollution. The necessary machinery for this work has been distributed in the states.

The main focus of the Central government is on the seven industrial clusters and major traffic corridors in Delhi-NCR region.

The Centre is keeping a close watch on polluting units and burning of waste besides the construction activities.

Alarm bells are ringing as the Air Quality Index (AQI) crossed an all time high of 1,000 in some parts of Delhi-NCR causing concern and anxiety among the people.

Health, Emergency, Delhi
The overall air quality index (AQI) rose to 459 on Friday morning. According to a CPCB official, the AQI reached “severe plus” or “emergency” category on late Thursday night, which is the first time since January this year. Pixabay

A public health emergency has already been enforced in the region. All schools have been shut in Delhi and Noida till Tuesday.

Delhi AQI which is now making international headlines is being monitored at the highest level. Earlier today, Principal Secretary to PM, P.K. Mishra, reviewed at a high-level meeting, the situation arising out of severe air pollution in the National Capital Region, and other parts of North India.

Senior officials from the States of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, joined the meeting through video conferencing.

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It was decided that the Cabinet Secretary will monitor the situation with these states on a daily basis.

The Chief Secretaries of these states have been asked to monitor the situation in various districts on a 24×7 basis. (IANS)

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Pollution Severe In Delhi In Spite Of Odd-Even Scheme: SC

SC says despite odd-even scheme, pollution in Delhi became severe

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Odd-Even scheme
In spite of Odd-Even vehicle rationing scheme, pollution has reached a severe level. Pixabay

The Supreme Court on Friday said in spite of Odd-Even vehicle rationing scheme, pollution has reached a severe level, and again called the Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Harayana and Uttar Pradesh, to report on measures taken to curb air pollution particularly related to stubble burning.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said, “Do not give exemption to two-wheelers, and it will work.”

During the hearing, the judges scrutinized the Odd-Even scheme of the Delhi government in respect of air quality index data gathered in the past two years. The judges queried the Delhi government counsel, senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, what purpose the scheme served by keeping out cars which contribute mere three per cent of the total pollution.

Odd-even scheme in Delhi
The court observed the data presented by the authorities suggest the Odd-Even scheme had hardly any effect on improving air quality. Pixabay

The court observed that Delhi’s local pollution is a major problem, if stubble burning which contributes 40 per cent is kept out.

“According to the authorities, stubble burning has reduced to somewhere near five per cent now…we are concerned about Delhi’s local air pollution. What is the government doing?”

The court observed the data presented by the authorities suggest the Odd-Eeven scheme had hardly any effect on improving air quality. “Question is what are you gaining by this scheme?” observed the court.

Also Read- Pollution Problem in Delhi Likely to Influence Upcoming Delhi Assembly Polls

Further commenting on the social aspect of the Odd-Even scheme, the court said “Odd-Even will only affect the lower middle class but not the affluent ones since they have multiple cars… Odd-Even isn’t a solution, but public transport could be. But nothing has been done about that”, said the court.

The hearing on the matter will continue on November 25. (IANS)