New Delhi: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Tuesday recommended to the authorities to ban the entry of heavy vehicles in Delhi after Diwali, from November 8 to 10, when the air quality is expected to deteriorate further to “severe” level, a senior official said. The CPCB held a meeting with the authorities and advised them to ban the entry of truck traffic (except essential commodities) from November 8 to 10, Prashant Gargava, member secretary of the statutory organisation under the environment ministry said.
The recommendation was made in view of the heavy pollution caused by such vehicles. It might add to the woes of the national capital which is already battling alarming levels of pollution, another CPCB official said.
Other recommendations included strict vigil to check waste dumping and burning, intensification of efforts by traffic police to deal with traffic congestion, continuation of measures recommended by the task force, like ban on construction activities and shutting down coal and biomass based industries.
The CPCB also appealed to people to avoid the use of diesel private cars. An Indian Meteorological Department official Siddhartha Singh said currently Delhi’s air quality is in “very poor” category but the situation may worsen between November 8-10 due to low speed of surface winds and north-westerly winds that are blowing from stubble burning areas.
Members of Delhi Pollution Control Committee, UP Pollution Control Board and Haryana Pollution Control Board also participated in the meeting. Delhi’s air quality is expected to deteriorate to “severe plus emergency” category after Diwali on November 8 even if “partially toxic crackers” are burned compared to last year, the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) has said.
Even if 50 per cent of the total load of toxic fire crackers, as compared to Diwali 2017, is added, the prevailing weather conditions will aggravate the high smoke level and make air quality to persist in ‘severe’ range for at least two days on November 8 and November 9, SAFAR said in a report.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.