Ritam Halder

Ritam Halder

Ritam Halder has been a journalist for nearly a decade and has worked in multiple roles across organisations. He has been a features writer, a digital journalist as well as a desk hand. He now covers environment, water and urban issues in Delhi.

Articles by Ritam Halder
This year also witnessed the lone ‘moderate’ day in terms of air quality in this period and experts say this is because of the control on local emissions in the city.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
This year also witnessed the lone ‘moderate’ day in terms of air quality in this period and experts say this is because of the control on local emissions in the city.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

Delhi’s air in November, December 2017 cleaner than 2016: CPCB

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON DEC 10, 2017 12:40 AM IST
In this period in 2016, there were 11 days with Air Quality Index (AQI) at ‘severe’ level while there were seven days with this level in 2017.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living had organised a cultural festival on the banks of Yamuna in March last year.(Raj K Raj/HT File Photo)
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living had organised a cultural festival on the banks of Yamuna in March last year.(Raj K Raj/HT File Photo)

NGT holds Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living Foundation responsible for damage to Yamuna floodplains

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON DEC 07, 2017 04:28 PM IST
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s foundation will move Supreme Court against the National Green Tribunal’s decision. The Rs 5-crore fine will be used for restoration.
The EPCA, in the advisory, has also emphasised that all other measures falling under ‘severe’ and ‘very poor’ categories GRAP will continue to be enforced, for the time being.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)
The EPCA, in the advisory, has also emphasised that all other measures falling under ‘severe’ and ‘very poor’ categories GRAP will continue to be enforced, for the time being.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)

EPCA writes to four NCR states, wants control room to deal with GRAP complaints

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
PUBLISHED ON DEC 06, 2017 11:33 PM IST
The EPCA, in the advisory, has also emphasised that all other measures falling under ‘severe’ and ‘very poor’ categories GRAP will continue to be enforced, for the time being.
(HT FILE)
(HT FILE)

Delhi pollution: Stop entry of trucks ahead of border during ‘emergency’ days, says EPCA

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON APR 11, 2019 11:23 AM IST
The SC appointed authority said the Delhi Police will have to coordinate with cops from bordering NCR towns to send back trucks before they reach the city’s border, once the graded response action plan kicks in.
A firefighter sprays water on trees as part of the anti-pollution measures to improve air quality in Delhi on Thursday.(PTI)
A firefighter sprays water on trees as part of the anti-pollution measures to improve air quality in Delhi on Thursday.(PTI)

Pollution control panel wants week’s weather forecast to prepare better

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON NOV 25, 2017 11:34 PM IST
EPCA points to Beijing’s 14-day prediction, says current two-day alerts not enough to prepare for pollution spikes
EPCA would not just take into account the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) but would also take a look at how such vehicle rationing measures are implemented in cities like Beijing and Paris.(Hindustan Times)
EPCA would not just take into account the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) but would also take a look at how such vehicle rationing measures are implemented in cities like Beijing and Paris.(Hindustan Times)

Odd-even to be implemented in NCR towns too if pollution turns severe, says EPCA

Hindustan Times | By Joydeep Thakur and Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON NOV 25, 2017 12:32 AM IST
The NCR towns where the odd-even would be introduced are Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida and Faridabad. Towns like Bhiwadi in Rajasthan would be exempted for the moment, said Narain.
Delhi woke up to the brightest morning in a while on Saturday.(Sanchit Khanna/HT)
Delhi woke up to the brightest morning in a while on Saturday.(Sanchit Khanna/HT)

Delhi’s pollution dips to its lowest in a month after Friday’s showers

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON NOV 18, 2017 11:32 PM IST
Weather experts foresee more light rain on Saturday, which may make the weekend less polluted before the air worsens again
An NDMC worker sprays water on a tree to settle dust as part of the measure against pollution, in New Delhi on Monday. Delhi fire services on Wednesday followed the order by sprinkling water from Vikas Minar at ITO. The spraying, which was started around 4pm, was done for nearly an hour.(PTI)
An NDMC worker sprays water on a tree to settle dust as part of the measure against pollution, in New Delhi on Monday. Delhi fire services on Wednesday followed the order by sprinkling water from Vikas Minar at ITO. The spraying, which was started around 4pm, was done for nearly an hour.(PTI)

Firemen make it rain at ITO, thanks to NGT’s sprinkling diktat

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON NOV 16, 2017 12:13 AM IST
Delhi fire services on Wednesday followed the order by sprinkling water from Vikas Minar at ITO. The spraying, which was started around 4pm, was done for nearly an hour.
Other GRAP measures like ban on diesel generators, hot mix plants, stone crushers and brick kilns, however, continue to remain in place.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Other GRAP measures like ban on diesel generators, hot mix plants, stone crushers and brick kilns, however, continue to remain in place.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Air better, EPCA to roll back parking fee hike, ban on truck entry and construction

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder and Vibha Sharma
UPDATED ON NOV 16, 2017 12:10 AM IST
Other GRAP measures like ban on diesel generators, hot mix plants, stone crushers and brick kilns, however, continue to remain in place.
On November 7, Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) hit severe levels with 448. As of Monday night, it remains around similar levels. This was triggered by the anti-cyclonic weather, EPCA said.(Sakib Ali/ HT photo)
On November 7, Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) hit severe levels with 448. As of Monday night, it remains around similar levels. This was triggered by the anti-cyclonic weather, EPCA said.(Sakib Ali/ HT photo)

Better weather forecasts, health advisories need of the hour, says EPCA

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
PUBLISHED ON NOV 14, 2017 05:52 PM IST
The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control and Prevention Authority (EPCA) on Monday stressed the importance of better weather forecasts, so that government agencies have advance notice of measures that need to be implemented under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
A tourist at Qutub Minar wears a mask as a thick blanket of haze engulfs New Delhi on Sunday.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
A tourist at Qutub Minar wears a mask as a thick blanket of haze engulfs New Delhi on Sunday.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

Delhi air pollution spikes again, Kejriwal govt to push for odd-even scheme

New Delhi, Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder and Ashish Mishra
UPDATED ON NOV 12, 2017 11:43 PM IST
Delhi pollution levels skyrocketed by the hour in Delhi on Sunday, turning the air quality hazardous, which agencies consider unfit for inhalation even by healthier people.
The odd-even road rationing scheme will be implemented in Delhi from Monday for five days as part of the emergency measures to tackle air pollution in Delhi.(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)
The odd-even road rationing scheme will be implemented in Delhi from Monday for five days as part of the emergency measures to tackle air pollution in Delhi.(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)

Odd-even next week might not be of much help for Delhi air: Experts

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
PUBLISHED ON NOV 10, 2017 06:29 PM IST
The odd-even road rationing scheme will be implemented in Delhi from Monday for five days as part of the emergency measures to tackle air pollution. Experts are, however, doubtful whether the scheme will help the city’s air quality.
A civil defence volunteer promoting the second edition of odd-even scheme at ITO in New Delhi in April 2016.(Ravi Choudhary /HT File Photo)
A civil defence volunteer promoting the second edition of odd-even scheme at ITO in New Delhi in April 2016.(Ravi Choudhary /HT File Photo)

Delhi air pollution: NGT calls odd-even drive a ‘farce’, tells govt no roll-out without its nod

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON NOV 10, 2017 11:49 PM IST
After severe pollution in Delhi for four days, Arvind Kejriwal government decided to roll out odd-even road rationing plan from next week though forecast says the air may clear up by then.
In a meeting attended by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday, Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal approved the EPCA’s decision to enforce measures enlisted under the “severe plus” or emergency category of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).(AP FILE)
In a meeting attended by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday, Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal approved the EPCA’s decision to enforce measures enlisted under the “severe plus” or emergency category of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).(AP FILE)

Delhi air pollution: Decision on odd-even drive today, ‘emergency’ measures in place

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON NOV 09, 2017 12:04 PM IST
The decision on odd-even road rationing in Delhi is expected after a meeting of government agencies with Environment Pollution Control Authority.
Commuters drive amid heavy smog in New Delhi on Tuesday. The city woke up to a choking blanket of smog as air quality in the world's most polluted capital city reached hazardous levels.(AFP)
Commuters drive amid heavy smog in New Delhi on Tuesday. The city woke up to a choking blanket of smog as air quality in the world's most polluted capital city reached hazardous levels.(AFP)

Delhi air pollution: Panel orders cut in Metro fare, 4-fold hike in parking fee

New Delhi, Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON NOV 07, 2017 07:06 PM IST
With New Delhi reeling due to air pollution, a public health emergency was declared on Tuesday, as a choking blanket of smog descended on the world’s most polluted capital city.
Rik and Dirk Vandekerckhove were at the rehearsal of the wreath laying ceremony to take place on Tuesday which will be commemorated by Belgium’s King Philippe at India Gate.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)
Rik and Dirk Vandekerckhove were at the rehearsal of the wreath laying ceremony to take place on Tuesday which will be commemorated by Belgium’s King Philippe at India Gate.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

Belgian buglers to play Last Post during ceremony for martyrs at India Gate

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON NOV 07, 2017 11:44 AM IST
Brothers Rik and Dirk Vandekerckhove will play the “Last Post” — a salute to those who had lost their lives for Belgium’s freedom — along with personnel of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force
A more comprehensive picture of air pollution in Delhi-NCR is likely to be available from January 2018 onwards when 20 new monitoring stations become operational in areas of Haryana, bordering the capital.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
A more comprehensive picture of air pollution in Delhi-NCR is likely to be available from January 2018 onwards when 20 new monitoring stations become operational in areas of Haryana, bordering the capital.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

Delhi gets 18 more monitoring stations to keep tab on air quality

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON NOV 04, 2017 12:44 PM IST
The real time pollution figures of PM2.5 and PM10 from these stations will be available on the Delhi Pollution Control Committee website.
Office-goers were caught in long traffic jams in central Delhi on Friday morning after the inauguration of the event at Vigyan Bhavan.(Ravi Choudhary / HT Photo)
Office-goers were caught in long traffic jams in central Delhi on Friday morning after the inauguration of the event at Vigyan Bhavan.(Ravi Choudhary / HT Photo)

World Food India: Heavy traffic at India Gate, avoid central Delhi this weekend

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON NOV 04, 2017 11:42 AM IST
Three-day World Food India 2017 is being organised at India Gate lawns by the ministry of food processing industries. The event is expected to get nearly 2,000 participants from 200 companies spanning 30 countries.
In the morning, the level of PM2.5 has touched emergency levels (severe plus category) in some pollution monitoring stations like DTU, ITO, Anand Vihar and RK Puram. Pollution level was found to be the least between 5pm and 6pm.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)
In the morning, the level of PM2.5 has touched emergency levels (severe plus category) in some pollution monitoring stations like DTU, ITO, Anand Vihar and RK Puram. Pollution level was found to be the least between 5pm and 6pm.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

Low wind speed to blame for more smoggy days ahead in Delhi

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Ritam Halder & Joydeep Thakur
UPDATED ON NOV 01, 2017 10:47 AM IST
Pollution levels in Delhi have remained high for the last 10 days with PM2.5 level shooting up around 9am and 10am every day.
Dust from new road construction site at NH-24 near Ghazipur in New Delhi, India, on October 24.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)
Dust from new road construction site at NH-24 near Ghazipur in New Delhi, India, on October 24.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

Need a whiff of fresh air to breathe in dusty Delhi

Hindustan Times | By Joydeep Thakur & Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON OCT 27, 2017 05:23 PM IST
Dust pollution is not new in developing cities. But it assumes alarming proportions in the National Capital Region because of the land-locked geographical position, unfavourable meteorological factors and multiple pollution sources in the region and beyond.
Sending out pollution alerts through newspapers, TV and radio to advise people with respiratory and cardiac ailments to avoid polluted areas and restrict outdoor movement is a part of graded plan.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Sending out pollution alerts through newspapers, TV and radio to advise people with respiratory and cardiac ailments to avoid polluted areas and restrict outdoor movement is a part of graded plan.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

Like Beijing, Delhi residents may get pollution updates on phone from next year

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder and Joydeep Thakur
UPDATED ON OCT 25, 2017 12:17 AM IST
Sending out pollution alerts through newspapers, TV and radio to advise people with respiratory and cardiac ailments to avoid polluted areas and restrict outdoor movement is a part of graded plan.
Anand Vihar is among the five places that have emerged as pollution hotspots in the National Capital Region, where the Air Quality Index hovers in the ‘very poor’ zone.(Hindustan Times)
Anand Vihar is among the five places that have emerged as pollution hotspots in the National Capital Region, where the Air Quality Index hovers in the ‘very poor’ zone.(Hindustan Times)

EPCA proposes to shift 950 buses out of polluted Anand Vihar

Hindustan Times | By Joydeep Thakur and Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON OCT 25, 2017 12:14 AM IST
Anand Vihar is among the five places that have emerged as pollution hotspots in the National Capital Region, where the Air Quality Index hovers in the ‘very poor’ zone.
Thick smog engulfs India Gate in New Delhi.(Arvind Yadav/HT File Photo)
Thick smog engulfs India Gate in New Delhi.(Arvind Yadav/HT File Photo)

Food ministry’s India Gate event gets exemption from diesel generator ban

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Ritam Halder & Joydeep Thakur
UPDATED ON OCT 25, 2017 12:11 AM IST
The ban on diesel generators was one of the first measures to be implemented as part of the graded response action plan to fight “very poor” and “severe” categories of air pollution.
Garbage burning is one of the major contributors to pollution in Delhi. The city produces nearly 10,000 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste daily, most of which directly lands at already exhausted landfills.
Garbage burning is one of the major contributors to pollution in Delhi. The city produces nearly 10,000 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste daily, most of which directly lands at already exhausted landfills.

EPCA gets cracking on garbage burning in Delhi, Rs 5,000 fine for polluting air

Hindustan Times | By Joydeep Thakur, Ritam Halder and Vibha Sharma
UPDATED ON OCT 23, 2017 12:14 PM IST
Garbage burning is one of the major contributors to pollution in Delhi. The city produces nearly 10,000 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste daily, most of which directly lands at already exhausted landfills
View of India Gate on October 20, a day after Diwali.(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
View of India Gate on October 20, a day after Diwali.(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

Strong winds helping dissipate pollutants in Delhi, but air still ‘very poor’

Press Trust of India, New Delhi | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON OCT 22, 2017 11:33 PM IST
Post Diwali, on October 20, Delhi’s air had turned ‘severe’ for the first time in 2017. Since then, it has markedly improved.
A child protects his face amid heavy smog due to bursting of firecrackers despite the ban imposed by the Supreme Court to control the air pollution following Diwali celebrations in New Delhi on Thursday.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
A child protects his face amid heavy smog due to bursting of firecrackers despite the ban imposed by the Supreme Court to control the air pollution following Diwali celebrations in New Delhi on Thursday.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

Less pollution this Diwali but Delhi’s air quality has entered severe zone

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Joydeep Thakur / Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON OCT 20, 2017 11:42 PM IST
Although experts said after the Supreme Court order there was a substantial decline in bursting of firecrackers compared to last Diwali, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research insisted that prevalent pollution levels give no such indication.
A child stands in front of smoke emitted from burning firecrackers in east Delhi on Diwali night.(Ravi Choudhary / HT PHOTO)
A child stands in front of smoke emitted from burning firecrackers in east Delhi on Diwali night.(Ravi Choudhary / HT PHOTO)

Delhi has cleanest Diwali in 3 yrs after cracker sale ban, but don’t celebrate

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON OCT 20, 2017 02:41 PM IST
A Supreme Court ban on sale of firecrackers in the national capital region (NCR) only limited their availability which left enough room for a spike in pollution levels.
According to the official, the new stations have been installed in different areas — residential, industrial, hospitals, schools, colleges and stadiums — in order to give a true representative character of air pollution.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
According to the official, the new stations have been installed in different areas — residential, industrial, hospitals, schools, colleges and stadiums — in order to give a true representative character of air pollution.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

Delhi: 14 stations to monitor pollution on Diwali night, to update data real time

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON OCT 18, 2017 11:31 PM IST
According to the official, the new stations have been installed in different areas — residential, industrial, hospitals, schools, colleges and stadiums — in order to give a true representative character of air pollution.
Ten thousand pollution masks (N95) were distributed among Delhi Traffic Police personnel to minimise the impact of toxic air at Traffic Police Headquarters, in Pusa, New Delhi on Tuesday.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Ten thousand pollution masks (N95) were distributed among Delhi Traffic Police personnel to minimise the impact of toxic air at Traffic Police Headquarters, in Pusa, New Delhi on Tuesday.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

Diesel genset banned, Badarpur thermal power plant shut as Delhi air turns ‘very poor’

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Ritam Halder and Joydeep Thakur
UPDATED ON OCT 18, 2017 10:58 AM IST
Delhi has enforced the Graded Response Action Plan to control air pollution this season. Parking fee may be increased by four times and polluting industries can be shut down if Delhi’s air quality degrades from ‘very poor’ to ‘severe’ in coming days
A Delhi traffic policeman wearing mask in Delhi during the persistent smog of November 2016.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
A Delhi traffic policeman wearing mask in Delhi during the persistent smog of November 2016.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

Delhi finally has an action plan to combat air pollution, here’s how you can help

HIndustan Times, New Delhi | By Joydeep Thakur & Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON OCT 17, 2017 11:13 AM IST
The Graded Response Action Plan designed to control air pollution in Delhi-NCR comes into force today. Different agencies have their roles carved out but individuals can chip in too
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