Delhi starts emergency measures to counter air pollution

Gwen Vasquez
November 5, 2018

It has also directed the pollution control bodies of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to start criminal prosecution against agencies or individuals who do not comply with directives to check pollutant levels.

Over the past ten days and more Delhi has been oscillating between "very poor" and "severe".

"Why didn't ministers from other states attend?" Its a collective problem and I urge everyone to please work together. "Only then can we find a solution", tweeted Arvind Kejriwal.

It was a hazy morning in the national capital on Thursday with limited visibility due to pollution. "That is why [our air pollution measures] have collaboration at their heart, working with businesses, farmers, industry and households, to develop innovative new solutions to reduce emissions", MP Thérèse Coffey stated. Union Minister Vijay Goel blamed Kejriwal for polluting Delhi.

The First WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health that ended in Geneva invited countries and partners to work together to fight air pollution and emphasised that without political interventional, making progress would be hard.

The residents of Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) have been advised to avoid all outdoor activities, keep medicines handy in case of respiratory diseases and curb the use of private cars and two-wheelers.

Only Delhi has over 10 million vehicles and the number is going up every year.

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However, government is not satisfied with the figure and working on to decrease it further.

An aggressive 10-day-long "Clean Air Campaign" from November 1-10 has also been launched to monitor and report polluting activities as well as to ensure quick action. A total penalty of Rs 80 lakh was imposed on violators on Friday and Saturday by teams monitoring implementation of measures. A list of vehicles that are prohibited from plying will be published on the Central Pollution Control Board's (CPCB) website.

A of view of President house in New Delhi on November 1.

That is almost 24 times a recommended level of 25 micrograms per cubic metre on average over a 24-hour period, set by the World Health Organization, which this year said India was home to the world's 14 most polluted cities.

The overall air quality index of Delhi was registered at 345 which falls in the "very poor" category.

Another official said if the air quality continues to remain in the "severe" category for 48 hours, they would consider implementing more regulations.

The PM2.5 level was recorded at 217.

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