New Delhi: Delhi’s biggest coal power plant has been ordered to be permanently closed from today and the city’s roads will be swept with special machines as part of a set of emergency measures that have been put in place by the government to combat air pollution, authorities said. With the temperatures slowing dipping, the pollution levels in the capital have gone up with today’s air quality tagged as “poor”. The Central Pollution Control Board rolled out the emergency action plan which will be implemented from today.
Here are the top 10 updates on air pollution in Delhi.
- The Badarpur thermal plant was due to permanently close from today because of its high contribution to pollution in the city. The emergency plan includes measures like mechanised sweeping of roads, deployment of traffic police to ensure smooth passage of traffic at vulnerable areas in Delhi and neighbouring areas, authorities said.
- Authorities banned garbage burning and imposed pollution control measures at brick kilns and ordered the deployment of police to ensure smooth passage of traffic at vulnerable areas Delhi and the National Capital. Region.
- The use of generators have been banned in Delhi but not in the National Capital Region because of power supply situation in the area, said Anumita Roychowdhury, a member of the Supreme Court-mandated mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority.
- If the air quality dips further to “very poor” category, parking fees will be hiked three to four times the current rates and the frequency of the metro and bus services will be increased, an official with the Central Pollution Control Board said.
- When the air quality falls in the severe category, additional measures would be implemented like increasing frequency of sprinkling of water on roads and identifying road stretches with high dust generation.
- If the pollution levels reach “severe+”, a new category, authorities will stop the entry of trucks except those with essential goods and regulate the number of cars on the road. In such a situation, They will also stop construction activities and appoint a task force to take decision on any additional steps, including shutting of schools.
- Delhi’s civic body had also asked the state-run Navratna Central Public Sector (NBCC) to “immediately halt” all construction and demolition activities at its project site at central; Delhi’s Pragati Maidan.
- 41 teams have been deployed across the Delhi and neighbouring areas to monitor proper implementation of these norms enforced to prevent pollution at the source. An official said inspections will be intensified in the coming days.
- Pollution in Delhi and neighbouring areas spikes around this time due to stubble burning by farmers after the harvest in Punjab and Haryana and Diwali firecrackers. Satellite images from the NASA have already showed increasing burning of paddy stubble in the two states.
- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he has taken up the pollution issue with the Chief Ministers of Haryana and Punjab. “We have been pursuing Central (government), Haryana and Punjab governments, yet no concrete action has been taken. Farmers are again helpless. The entire region including Delhi will again become gas chamber. People will again face difficulty in breathing. This is criminal,” Mr Kejriwal tweeted on Saturday.
(With inputs from PTI and AFP)