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Delhi government launches environment competition along with Chicago varsity

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New Delhi: University of Chicago’s Urban Labs and the Delhi Dialogue Commission, an advisory body of the Delhi government, on Tuesday, launched a competition focused on improving air and water quality in the capital by soliciting grassroots ideas from citizens, civic leaders, academics, corporations, and other institutions across India.

Urban Labs Innovation Challenge: Delhi” will award up to Rs.2 crore in funding to the most promising solutions, said the DDC, in a statement.

Proposals should broadly confront the challenges that Delhi faces in energy reliability and efficiency and help reduce environmental hazards to public health and climate for the residents of the national capital, it added.

Welcoming the initiative, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said: “I am glad that DDC has entered into the first of its kind agreement with the University of Chicago to find novel solutions to tackle pollution and environment related issues in Delhi.”

Through (the) spirit of citizen participation, citizens and organizations will help Delhi government in finding lasting solutions for one of the biggest concerns in Delhi. In return, we will provide funding up to Rs. 2 crore to the best ideas for scale up. I request citizens to enthusiastically participate in the competition.

The Urban Labs will work with the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago’s India Office (EPIC-India) and the Delhi government to pilot and test the winning projects that could then be scaled up across the region and become important models for other cities, the statement said.

Letters of Interest for the competition should be received by March 1, 2016. To learn more about the challenge and submit an idea, the participants may visit: urbanlabsDelhi.uchicago.in

(Inputs from IANS)

 

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Air Quality In Delhi Very Low, No Sign Of Improvement

SAFAR has advised people to avoid outdoor physical activities.

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Delhi's air quality drastically dipped during Diwali. Wikimedia Commons
Delhi's air quality drastically dipped during Diwali. Wikimedia Commons

The air quality deteriorated to ‘very poor’ in the national capital Delhi and areas around it due to low wind speed and marginal effect of stubble burning in neighbouring states.

Several areas across Delhi also saw ‘severe-plus’ and ‘severe’ air quality due to high level of particle pollution, which remained over 10 times the safe limit.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) was 337 or very-poor against 273 or poor or Thursday. The AQI at Anand Vihar was 407 and of Mundaka was 432, both under ‘severe’ category.

PM2.5, or particles with diameter less than 2.5mm, is still the dominant pollutant. Despite dry and cool north-westerly winds, the air quality dropped to the average PM2.5 over 37 areas of Delhi recording 191 microgrammes per cubic meters, against 134 units on Thursday and 240 units on Wednesday.

India, air pollution, WHO, diwali, Pollution, Delhi, egypt, air quality
A man walks in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, India. VOA

“Air Quality Index will remain in very poor category on Saturday. A slight improvement is predicted later,” said a forecast by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research.

According to weather analysts, wind speed at present is slow allowing the pollutant to accumulate.

“Stubble fire will have a marginal impact,” SAFAR said.

Also Read: Tips to Improve The Air Quality of Your Home

SAFAR has advised people to avoid outdoor physical activities.

“If asthmatic, keep relief medicine handy,” the warning added. (IANS)