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Delhi industrial units to switch to PNG. Flickr

All the industrial units spread across 50 areas in Delhi have been directed to switch over to Piped Natural Gas (PNG) by January 31 next year. This move is aimed at reducing the city’s air quality index which has been deteriorating regularly.

Considering the fact that the industrial sector is one of the major contributors to air pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), the Commission for Air Quality management has issued notices to about 1,644 such industrial units which are running in different areas in Delhi.


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Though a sizeable number of industries are using PNG, the Commission stressed the need for all identified industries in Delhi to switch to PNG. Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) and Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) were impressed upon to complete the pipeline network, metering, and associated infrastructure.

“IGL, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and Delhi government were also asked to work in close coordination with the industrial units so as to target completion of infrastructure works and complete switch over to PNG, by all the identified industrial units in Delhi, by January 31, 2021,” said a statement from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

The DPCC was also directed to inspect and identify the industries using unapproved fuels and to take stringent penal action in case of non-compliance. The air quality of the national capital has been deteriorating continuously and remained in the ‘very poor’ category with an overall AQI of 373 recorded on Tuesday by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) under the Ministry of Earth Science.


The step is taken to control air pollution. Flickr

“The overall air quality has deteriorated to the higher end of the very poor category as forecast. Surface-level winds are low and westerly. Surface winds are likely to further slow down and surface inversion is likely to form,” SAFAR said.

“Under the calm wind-cold conditions, fog formation is likely in the region. This would be mainly radiative fog as a result of locally generated favorable weather conditions and may not persist longer. Slowing of dispersion owing to low ventilation is forecasted for the next two days.”

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Hence, SAFAR said, AQI is forecasted to further deteriorate to the higher end of the “very poor” category by December 23 and December 24. Quite a few regions may even experience severe AQI for a shorter time period, especially during the early morning.

“Secondary particulate formation mechanism (which rapidly multiplies particulate pollution) is forecasted not to be triggered at present.” According to SAFAR, the concentrations of the particulate matter (PM) with a diameter of 10 and 2.5 microns stood at 379 and 215 respectively. (IANS)


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Killer Smog in Delhi.

Developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, a Decision Support System (DSS) that extends the ability of the existing air quality early warning system (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR was launched on Tuesday.

The website for the DSS (https://ews.tropmet.res.in/dss/) is designed to help the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) by delivering quantitative information about the contribution of emissions from Delhi and its 19 surrounding districts; the contribution of emissions from eight different sectors in Delhi; and the contribution from biomass-burning activities in the neighbouring states.

These information would assist in managing the air quality in a timely manner, a release from the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.

The need was stated by the CAQM, which was formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, during a meeting held in January 2021.

Recently, the Commission reviewed the progress made by IITM and had in principle approved the current version of DSS for air quality management in the Delhi-NCR. The IITM has also developed a new website for DSS with the entire system made operational, the release said.

Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while launching the website for AQEWS on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' week organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "DSS is a significant contribution to 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' on behalf of MoES and IITM and suggestions are invited on this issue."

The website also has a feature whereby the users can create their own emission reduction scenarios (from 20 different districts, including Delhi) so as to examine the possible projected improvement in air quality in Delhi for the next five days.

"This information would explicitly highlight the most important emission sources responsible for the degradation of air quality in Delhi and suggest possible solutions to ameliorate the same. With a plethora of quantitative data, the AQEWS integrated with DSS could become a user-friendly tool for air-quality management in and around Delhi," the release said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, India, Pollution, IITM, Ministry of Earth Sciences