Delhi's air quality back to 'severe plus', may worsen further

14 November, 2017, 00:46 | Author: Lorraine Moran
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In a plea filed to the NGT, the AAP government sought changes in the tribunal's previous directions on the odd-even scheme implementation.

Earlier, sources in the Delhi government had told Firstpost that the main submission of the Delhi government in NGT on Monday will be about the problems the odd-even is going to cause if implemented without any exemption.

Subject to the NGT's decision, the Delhi government will "consider implementing it again".

Central Delhi's Lodhi Road (Air Quality Index of 567) and north-west Delhi's Pitampura (Air Quality Index of 544) had the worst readings at 2.30 pm.

Both PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels, measured at 480 and 712 micrograms per cubic meter, respectively, were back at the "emergency" threshold of the Graded Response Action Plan.

A Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the Delhi government to submit reports or studies on the basis of which it planned to enforce the scheme from November 13 to November 17. "This is likely to be accompanied by addition of moisture to Delhi's air and fall in the temperature which may result in an increase in pollution levels", said a forecast report prepared by Gufran Beig, Project Director of SAFAR. The NGT has agreed to the government's scheme after it directed that only emergency services will be exempted from it during a hearing on Saturday. "We will again approach the NGT and will ask them to allow exemptions to women and two-wheelers", Gahlot told media.

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In a plea filed to the NGT, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government sought changes in the tribunal's previous directions which rejected most exemptions given under the auto rationing scheme, including those given to two-wheelers and women drivers.

Earlier the NGT had also announced that until Monday all the schools will be shut down and there will be a ban on trucks carrying construction material and on construcion sites until next notice.

Nikhil Pahwa, an activist and journalist who has written about air pollution, outlined 22 different ideas on Twitter to curb it, adding that the government has always been aware of such measures. The harassment one goes through as a woman using public transport was enough to prompt me to put my savings into a depreciating asset; it wasn't just a vehicle for me, it was my independence.

Ghaziabad was the most polluted city in the entire NCR with an AQI of 500 and PM2.5 at an astounding 816 units at 4.00 p.m - over 32 times the safe limit.

Delhi's air, among the world's dirtiest, worsens in the winter months.

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