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GRAP has advised the government and private offices along with other establishments to reduce vehicle usage by at least 30 per cent on an 'emergency' basis to curb vehicular emission.

In the wake of the 'severe' air quality in Delhi, the Graded Action Response Plan (GRAP) has advised the government and private offices along with other establishments to reduce vehicle usage by at least 30 per cent on an 'emergency' basis to curb vehicular emission.

The vehicle usage could be minimised by working from home, carpooling, and optimising field activities, etc, a sub sub-committee of GRAP constituted by Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) order said.

GRAP convened a meeting on Friday to review the air quality of the national capital, which was under 'severe' category and exceeded the threshold limit of PM10 at 500 Aug/m3 and PM 2.5 at 300 Aug/m3 in Delhi-NCR.

The order has further advised people to limit outdoor activities to minimise their exposure.

Delhi's overall air quality on Saturday morning stood at 499 under the 'severe' category, as per System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

"Implementing agencies at appropriate level, must closely monitor actions taken and submit daily report to concerned SPCBs/PCC, which will review and further submit reports to CAQM and CPCB," it added.

The order also asked the concerned authorities to strictly follow all actions mentioned in guidelines issued November 8, with more rigour.

"Ensure that all brick kilns remain closed in Delhi-NCR as per the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), closure of all hot mix plants and stone crushers in Delhi-NCR, maximise the generation of power from existing natural gas-based plants to reduce the operation of coal-based power plants in the NCR, introduce differential rates to encourage off-peak travel," the November 8 order read.

Besides, states are supposed to disseminate information about air pollution levels and for creating awareness among citizens regarding steps to minimise air pollution, it added. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, National Capital of India, Air Pollution, Health, Arvind Kejriwal


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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


IANS

NASA aerial image of India

The clear blue skies over the national capital may go dark soon with dust and smoke as the stubble burning season nears. The satellite images by US space agency NASA have shown that crop residue burning has already started in several fields in Haryana and Punjab, according to media reports.

Punjab annually generates 20 million tonnes of paddy straw, which is normally set on fire to quickly clear the fields for the next crop, resulting in choking of the National Capital Region (NCR) in October and November, and causing major health effects.

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Rajinder Pal Singh Brar/ Wikimedia commons

A potrait of Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi

While presenting the Winter Action Plan on Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that separate teams have been formed to keep a check on pollution arising from waste-burning and construction in the national capital.

"Under the Anti-dust Campaign, 75 teams have been formed to keep a check on construction and demolition sites, and 250 for patrolling Delhi-NCR to prevent waste burning. Hefty fines will be levied on those found not complying with the Delhi government guidelines," Kejriwal said in a virtual address.

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