New Delhi: As Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR), got engulfed by the toxic smog with pollution levels breaching permissible standard limits by multiple times. The Air Quality Index in many parts of the city slipped into the category of ‘severe’ with a score of 448 on a scale of 500 against the permissible limit of 100 micrograms per cubic metre. The doctors declared the condition as public health crisis. And after many deliberations, discussions and blame game among political leaders, steps announced to take on Delhi pollution.
Following are 8 measures taken by the authorities to tackle the air pollution in the city
- Odd-Even Policy On Vehicles Make A Comeback
Bringing back last year’s odd-even scheme, the government on Thursday said that the policy will be implemented in the city for 5 days starting from November 13. The policy was first introduced in January 2016 when the quality of air had nosedived and was re-introduced in April in the same year. As per the rule, between 8am and 8pm private, non-commercial vehicles are allowed out on the roads on alternate days – odd days if the vehicle’s license plate ends in an odd number, and even days if it ends in an even number.
Also Read: Battling Delhi’s Killer Smog: Odd-Even 3.0 Returns From November 13, But Will It Be A Success?
- Delhi Authorities Enhance Parking Fees By Four Times
In a bid to discourage people from taking out their cards and reduce vehicular emissions, the Delhi authorities including Municipal Corporations of Delhi, Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation hiked the parking fees by four times. A spokesperson from North Delhi Municipal Corporation said that the contractors have been asked to execute the order. “We really hope it would discourage people from using more private cars, one of the factors for environmental pollution.
- Health And Family Welfare Ministry Directs All Hospitals To Be Prepared For The Patient Load
Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Shri J P Nadda reviewed the situation arising due to the air pollution in Delhi, and the preparations in the hospitals to deal with the patient load. Shri J P Nadda directed the officials and heads of all Central Government hospitals to keep a close watch on the situation. All hospitals have been directed to take all measures to deal with the patient load due to air pollution. They have been directed to keep nebulizers and other related equipments in good condition and to be ready to meet with any exigency.
- Ban On Entry Of Trucks
Border entry points from where Heavy & Medium goods vehicles enter into Delhi, sealed by Delhi Police at 11 PM yesterday: Midnight visuals from Singhu Border pic.twitter.com/V0aiLGM65I
— ANI (@ANI) November 10, 2017
Unless, the commercial trucks are transporting essential commodities, all kind of heavy goods vehicles and trucks have been prohibited from entering the city.
- Ban On Civil Construction and Strict compliance of Graded Response Action Plan
The construction dust has off late been recognised as one of the major sources of pollution in Delhi. It can cause health complications like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, silicosis, etc. Amidst the current crisis, the Delhi government has imposed a ban on construction and demolition activities.A meeting to deliberate the issue of mitigation of air pollution was held under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). Several decisions were discussed at the meeting, including the strict compliance of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) and other directives issued by top court last month – an effective enforcement of ban on diesel generator sets, stone crushers, hot mix plants (plant that is used in the manufacturing of coated road stones) and brick kilns, which have not converted to a cleaner zig zag technology. The Graded Response Action Plan will be implemented by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which will monitor air quality from various stations across Delhi-NCR.
- Schools To Be Closed Till November 12
The Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday afternoon ordered all the schools in Delhi (private, government and municipal) to remain closed till Sunday, November 12. “Due to the deteriorating air quality in Delhi, the health of children cannot be compromised. We have ordered the closure of all the schools in Delhi until Sunday,” the deputy chief minister had tweeted.
- Metro Announces More Trips, Public Transport Buses Increases Its Numbers
The Delhi Metro today announced that its trains will undertake over 180 additional trips and charge four times the prevalent parking rates to discourage use of private vehicles in light of the alarming pollution levels in the city. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will be running 3,317 train trips from November 9 instead of 3,131, an increase of 186 train trips to provide increased capacity to the public in this weather, it said in a statement. The number of trips will remain unchanged on the Red Line and the Airport Express Line.The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has been directed to hire 500 buses on a short-term basis and the DMRC has been asked to procure 300 buses to handle the rush if and when the odd-even scheme was launched.
- National Green Tribunal Restricts Industrial Activities And Bans Waste Burning In Delhi
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) among its many directions to deal with the grim situation included a ban on industrial activities and entry of trucks, lambasted the Delhi government and civic bodies over the worsening air quality in Delhi and neighbouring states.
“No construction activity will be carried out on structures until further orders… all industrial activities in Delhi-NCR which are causing emmissions will also not be allowed to carry on their functioning till November 14”, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
Industrial activities to not be carried on in Delhi, till the next hearing directs NGT. NGT also directed, all the public authorities should depute an officer to monitor the polluting activities
— ANI (@ANI) November 9, 2017
It further directed the civic bodies to constitute teams to ensure there is no burning of waste in Delhi-NCR and asked them to sprinkle water where PM 10 is found to be in excess of 600 micrograms per cubic metre.
Also Read: A Tale Of Two Capitals: Delhi And Beijing’s Fight To Curb Air Pollution
With inputs from Agencies