Sunday July 21, 2019

Delhi Smog: Odd-Even Car Rule May Return; Consider Cloud Seeding to curb Pollution : HC

The court said that though stubble-burning was the "visible villain", authorities should address the "other elephants in the room" such as dust generated by road and construction activity as well as vehicular and industrial pollution.

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Issuing a slew of direction as immediate measures to control pollution in Delhi-NCR, the court banned felling of trees, ordered sprinkling of water on roads to control dust. Pixabay

New Delhi, November 9, 2017 : The Delhi High Court on Thursday said there was an “emergency situation” vis-a-vis pollution in Delhi-NCR region and asked the Delhi government to consider vehicular odd-even scheme and cloud seeding to induce artificial rain.

The court also asked the Centre to hold meetings with Delhi and National Capital Region authorities to bring in short-term measures to control pollution immediately and to submit a report to it on November 16, the next date of hearing.

Issuing a slew of direction as immediate measures to control pollution in Delhi-NCR, the court banned felling of trees, ordered sprinkling of water on roads to control dust and strict enforcement of construction code to ensure that the air was not polluted.

A Division Bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva also directed the Chief Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Control to call an emergency meeting with his counterparts in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and pollution control agencies within three days to discuss ways to curb pollution.

The bench said the Chief Secretaries will also consider the feasibility of cloud seeding to bring down air pollution. This, the bench said, was not a very expensive process and Bengaluru had adopted it.

The court asked the Delhi government to consider bringing back the odd-even scheme — under which vehicles of odd and even registration numbers, with exceptions, ply on roads on designated days — to control traffic congestion and unclog the capital.

But the court questioned the government move to increase parking rates by four times.

“If somebody has to go to a hospital or buy important items, he ends up paying four times more for the parking,” the bench said.

The court said that though stubble-burning was the “visible villain”, authorities should address the “other elephants in the room” such as dust generated by road and construction activity as well as vehicular and industrial pollution.

“London has faced this kind of air pollution. They term it as pea soup fog, which is a killer fog. This is a deadly mixture of construction and vehicular dust and other factors,” the bench said.

The court also directed the Delhi government to conduct a survey of all hospitals in the national capital on availability of oxygen to deal with emergency situations with regard to vulnerability of children and senior citizens.

It told the Delhi government to strictly regulate the entry of trucks into the city.

The court was hearing a suo motu case it initiated in 2015 to control air pollution in the national capital. (IANS)

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Sri Lanka’s 90% Coral Reefs Dead Due to Pollution

By saving the remaining live corals, they would stay alive for decades which would help Sri Lanka attract more tourists

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Sri Lanka's, Coral Reefs, Pollution
Sri Lanka, rich in coral reefs, had lost 90 per cent of its corals in recent years mainly due to illegal fishing methods such as bottom trawling and dynamite blasting. Pixabay

Sri Lanka’s state-owned Marine Environment Protection Authority on Wednesday warned that the country only had 10 per cent of live coral reefs in its oceans as 90 per cent had died due to pollution, illegal fishing methods and excessive climate change.

Dr Terney Pradeep Kumara, General Manager of the marine authority, told Xinhua news agency that urgent steps must be taken by the government to mark the remaining live coral reefs as “highly protected areas” and measures must be taken to move these live corals to deeper seas.

He said Sri Lanka, rich in coral reefs, had lost 90 per cent of its corals in recent years mainly due to illegal fishing methods such as bottom trawling and dynamite blasting, excessive climate change and high levels of pollution dumped into the seas.

“We urgently now need to save the remaining 10 per cent. At present, what we are observing is that the remaining 10 per cent is also facing a lot of difficulty due to high temperature levels.

Sri Lanka's, Coral Reefs, Pollution
Sri Lanka’s state-owned Marine Environment Protection Authority on Wednesday warned that the country only had 10 per cent of live coral reefs. Pixabay

“Therefore we expect all government agencies, private agencies and all the environmentalists to get together and help the government declare these reefs as highly protected areas and help transfer the living corals to deep areas to keep them alive,” he added.

Also Read- India: Gujarat to Upgrade Renewable Energy Sector To an Ambitious 30,000 Megawatt (MW)

Kumara said that by saving the remaining live corals, they would stay alive for decades which would help Sri Lanka attract more tourists which would strengthen the economy and the bio diversity of the country. (IANS)