Tuesday January 28, 2020
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Pollution Levels in New Delhi Hit a Three-Year High

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said the capital's average air quality index (AQI) hit 494 at 4 p.m. local time on Sunday

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Pollution, Delhi, Smog
A fishing boat is seen in the morning general view of the city skyline covered by a smoggy haze in Mumbai, India, Jan. 29, 2016. VOA

Dense, noxious smog enveloped the Indian capital and surrounding area Sunday, causing residents to suffer from burning eyes, sore throats, and shortness of breath. Pollution.

Pollution levels in New Delhi hit a three-year high, forcing 37 flights to be diverted from the city’s international airport due to low visibility.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said the capital’s average air quality index (AQI) hit 494 at 4 p.m. local time on Sunday, the highest since November 6, 2016, when it was 497.

Air quality is considered good when the AQI is below 50 and satisfactory when it’s under 100.

Pollution, Delhi, Smog
Pollution levels in New Delhi hit a three-year high, forcing 37 flights to be diverted from the city’s international airport due to low visibility. Wikimedia Commons

AQI between 301 and 500 is considered “hazardous”  for all population groups. It is not measured past 500.

Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that the pollution level was “unbearable” and urged the central government to intervene.

New Delhi, ranked the world’s most polluted city by Greenpeace and AirVisual, routinely gets more polluted at this time of the year. The air quality gets noticeably worse as winter approaches and farmers clear their fields by burning scrub. The pollution is also made worse by smoke from firecrackers lit all across the region to celebrate Diwali, Hinduism’s biggest holiday.

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The local governments have ordered all schools and colleges to remain closed at least until Tuesday.  Drivers in the city of more than 18 million people and 8.8 million registered motor vehicles have been asked to follow the odd-even road rationing plan until November 15. Under the plan, cars will only only drive on odd and even dates that correspond with the last digit of the license plate number. (VOA)

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Digital Transactions in Delhi-NCR Grew by 235% Last Year: Razorpay

Online transactions in Delhi-NCR grew 235% in 2019

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Online Transactions
Online transactions in Delhi-NCR grew by 235 per cent in 2019 and it was the third most digitized region in 2019. Pixabay

Digital transactions in Delhi-NCR grew by 235 per cent from 2018 (January-December) to 2019 (January-December) and the region was the third most digitised state in 2019, thus, contributing 13.05 per cent in 2019 (up from 10.9 per cent in 2018), said a new report by full-stack financial services company Razorpay on Tuesday.

“The last year has been buzzing for the fintech sector in Delhi, with the adoption of new digital payment modes and bringing the digital currency to the mainstream. The last six months saw a tremendous shift in the consumption patterns of businesses and consumer preferences of digital payments in the region.

“With UPI growing by a whopping 442 per cent in Delhi, I am certain that this payment method will overtake cards by at least 20 per cent in the next 12 months,” Harshil Mathur, CEO and co-founder of Razorpay, said in a statement.

Online Transactions
Credit and Debit cards contributed 46 per cent in digital transactions. Pixabay

In 2019, Karnataka saw the highest adoption of digital payments (26.64 per cent) followed by Maharashtra (15.92 per cent) and Delhi NCR (13.01 per cent).

While the usage of cards (46 per cent) and netbanking (11 per cent) saw a decline in 2019, down from 56 per cent and 23 per cent for cards and netbanking, respectively in 2018, UPI (38 per cent) went up from 17 per cent in 2018.

Amazon Pay was the most preferred wallet among consumers (33 per cent), followed by Ola Money (17 per cent) in 2019.

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The top three sectors in digital payment adoption for 2019 were food and beverage (26 per cent), financial services (12.5 per cent) and transportation (8 per cent).

Among UPI, Google Pay contributed 59 per cent, PhonePe contributed 26 per cent, followed by Paytm (7 per cent) and BHIM (6 per cent) in digital transactions in 2019. (IANS)