Tuesday November 19, 2019
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Hoax bomb threat jolts Delhi airport: officials tighten up scrutiny

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By NewsGram Staff-Writer

Six international flights got cancelled at Delhi and Bangalore airport owing to threat calls made within a span of ten minutes on Saturday.

According to reports, Delhi had to call back two flights when they were about to exit the Indian air space. Further, a third flight was stopped from approaching the runway immediately after a call was received at the Gurgaon call centre of Delhi International Airport limited (DIAL).

credit: news.statetimes.in
credit: news.statetimes.in

As stated by the security officials, the threat call warned of bombs on three flights. Two of the three flights were Hong Kong bound and the third was Zurich bound. A high level bomb threat committee looked into the threat call and declared the threat as specific, according to a statement made by an official of CISF( Central Industrial Security Force).

Both the flights bound to Hong Kong were asked by the air traffic control to withdraw and taken to the isolation bay and the Zurich bound flight was taken to another bay from the runaway.

The bomb disposal squad of the CiSF did a thorough checking of the escorted passengers and removed baggage from the cabins of the concerned flights, said a CISF official, as reported in Hindustan Times.

It was for the first time that the three isolation bays of the Delhi airport were put to use simultaneously; the bays had been constructed to take planes with explosives in them. The hoax bomb alerts acted as a litmus test for the CISF officials deputed with the duty to look over the security of the airport.

The CISF staff took around four hours to declare that the call was hoaxed after a proper scrutiny of the flights and frisking of the passengers. Hoax callers should be penalized thoroughly as it consumes a lot of time and over 600 passengers were subjected to precarity owing to the same, said an airport official as quoted in the leading daily.

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Experts Advocate Airshed Management To Tackle Pollution

Experts have advocated airshed management to tackle pollution as air pollution is severe

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Air pollution
Airshed management will be helping in tackling air pollution. Pixabay

Amid pollution turning into a serious national issue and the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) largely staying limited to Delhi, experts here on Monday advocated airshed management to tackle pollution.

These experts and pollution control boards officials were participating in a panel discussion, organised by Climate Trends, a Delhi-based climate communications initiative, to map the pathway for regional cooperation and coordination to tackle the crisis.

Sagnik Dey, Associate Professor at IIT-Delhi and Coordinator for the Centre for Excellence for Research for Clean Air (CERCA), said, “We live in the age of data, yet there is no air pollution data for the entire rural India.”

To address the problem of air pollution comprehensively, Dey said, “We need to delineate airsheds based on wind flows and their pollutant reach. The city action plans should be integrated with the larger airshed management strategy to to deal with the problem.”

Haryana, despite not being included in the NCAP, is the only state that has made an action plan for Gurugram that will include 300 km of the surrounding area as shared airshed where pollution transfer happens.

The entire NCAP rested on the Central Pollution Control Board and the state pollution control boards but their resource and capacity must be evaluated and enhanced, Dey said. “Monitoring and compliance are key to success. Unless the central, state and municipal bodies work in tandem, we will return to these pollution spikes each year,” Dey said.

Delhi, air Polltuion
To address the problem of air pollution comprehensively, airsheds based on wind flows and their pollutant reach need to be delineated. Pixabay

Analysis of November 1-15 data from urban sciences across 26 cities in the Indo-Gangetic Plain showed that nine cities were in severe air quality category, including satellite towns like Ghaziabad and Noida, with Delhi ranked fifth behind Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida.

A 2012 study by IIT-Delhi mapped the aerosol transfer across the Indo-Gangetic region, making it the world’s most polluted hotspot — stretching from Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, UP, Bihar and all the way to West Bengal.

Haryana with five of the 10 most polluted cities in this study, has no city listed amongst the 102+20 NCAP cities.

The analysis further highlighted how Gurugram, spread across 732 sq km, has two monitoring stations against 35 in Delhi, which has double the area of its neighbour.

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Ronak Sutaria, CEO, Urban Sciences, said, “It’s going to be a challenge to scale up monitoring to 1,000 monitors in the country as per the NCAP due to cost. But that too is not enough as all studies say 4,000-6,000 monitors are needed for adequate coverage.”

The Indo-Gangetic plain has a complex set of topographical and meteorological conditions that produce a land-locked valley effect. These conditions are monitored for forecast, though the lack of adequate set of monitoring devices and suitable presentation for ease of understanding have limited the ability of the responsible agencies to act proactively. (IANS)