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Numbers of vehicles to be restricted in Delhi

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New Delhi: In a bid to combat rising pollution, the Delhi government on Friday decided that odd and even number vehicles will ply on alternate days in the city from January 1, official sources said.

The decision, taken at a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, will not apply to CNG-driven buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws but will also cover vehicles entering the capital from other states.

The sweeping move – like the one taken in Beijing in 2013 – will apply to a large bulk of the some 90 lakh vehicles registered in Delhi, where about 1,500 new vehicles are added every day.

Delhi’s vehicular population – which cause choking jams on all weekdays – includes some 27 lakh cars.

The Delhi government has also decided to shut down south Badarpur power plant, one of the coal-based plants of the NTPC.

The government will also launch a web-based app which people can use to report about polluting vehicles in the capital.

The decisions came a day after the High Court said that the national capital was like a gas chamber, and sought immediate action from the central and Delhi governments.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the air quality of the capital is said to be “very poor” with an air quality index of 331.

When air quality index ranges between 301 and 400, the air is said to cause respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.

Earlier measures apparently have not dented the increasing air pollution in the city, leading to major health issues.

In October, the National Green Tribunal announced an “Environment Tax” or “Green Tax” on commercial vehicles entering the city.

The Delhi High Court later ordered all private radio taxis to switch over to compressed natural gas (CNG) before March 1, 2016, if they desired to operate in the capital.

NGO Greenpeace warned recently that the indoor air in Delhi was five times more polluted than it should be according to Indian standards.

The WHO, however, says this is 11 times more than their prescribed level.

(IANS)

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Union Environment Ministry Rolling out Anti-pollution Measures for Delhi NCR region

Pointing out the need for fully implementing the anti-pollution measures, he said that errant officials and those violating norms will be fined. He said the Environment Ministry and the CPCB are monitoring the situation and coordinating with the states on a daily basis

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The country is affected by high levels of air pollution, both ambient and indoors. Pixabay

The Union Environment Ministry and the states in the Delhi NCR region have agreed on a special campaign for rolling out anti-pollution measures, including taking action against negligent officials.

Environment Secretary C.K. Mishra said that the previous instructions of the Ministry, and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have been reviewed and the instructions in the recent Supreme Court order have been collated into a roadmap and these will be implemented for the next 15 days. The best measures out of these will be used till the end of December on a sustained basis, he added.

After review meeting with officials of the states in the region – Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan – it was decided that negligent officials who are not able to curb pollution will be punished.

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

“Deliberate omission and negligence will not be tolerated. Accountability will be fixed on officials. Government will intensify its crackdown on those violating anti-pollution norms,” Mishra said.

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Pointing out the need for fully implementing the anti-pollution measures, he said that errant officials and those violating norms will be fined. He said the Environment Ministry and the CPCB are monitoring the situation and coordinating with the states on a daily basis.

He said that there has been a spate of bad meteorology in Delhi NCR due to which pollution spiked, adding that meteorology plays an important role in pollution due to Delhi’s geographical location. “We cannot change the meteorology, what we can do is to bring the level of pollutants down by taking effective measures,” Mishra said. (IANS)