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
Last year’s festive season triggered the worst smog in 17 years, forcing the Delhi government to shut down schools and construction sites.(HT File Photo)
Last year’s festive season triggered the worst smog in 17 years, forcing the Delhi government to shut down schools and construction sites.(HT File Photo)

Best Diwali air this year in Delhi since 2013? Cracker curb may make it possible

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Joydeep Thakur and Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON OCT 17, 2017 10:44 AM IST
The air quality in Delhi this year will be directly proportional to firecrackers burst and vehicular emissions within city limits.
Students at Hindu College listen during a workshop on awareness of air pollution organised by New Delhi Nature Society on Friday.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
Students at Hindu College listen during a workshop on awareness of air pollution organised by New Delhi Nature Society on Friday.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

This Delhi man is meeting students to make Diwali about lights, not patakhas

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
PUBLISHED ON OCT 16, 2017 05:07 PM IST
Verhaen Khanna, along with some volunteers, is going to schools and colleges to explain why this festive season should be celebrated without fireworks
Activists protest against a court-ordered ban on the sale of firecrackers to curtail air pollution in the Delhi by setting off firecrackers during the protest.(AFP Photo)
Activists protest against a court-ordered ban on the sale of firecrackers to curtail air pollution in the Delhi by setting off firecrackers during the protest.(AFP Photo)

Brace up: Ahead of Diwali, graded plan to fight pollution starts tomorrow

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON OCT 17, 2017 08:46 AM IST
As Delhi’s air quality worsens, a Graded Response Action Plan will be put in place from October 17 - two days before Diwali. The plan has been designed on the lines of mechanisms adopted by Beijing and Paris to control air pollution
CR Park’s Cooperative Pujo Committee and Gurgaon’s Bangiya Parishad will be awarded the Saktibhute Sanatani Paribesh Bandhab Sarodotsab Sanman, 2017, on October 24(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
CR Park’s Cooperative Pujo Committee and Gurgaon’s Bangiya Parishad will be awarded the Saktibhute Sanatani Paribesh Bandhab Sarodotsab Sanman, 2017, on October 24(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

Pollution control board awards for NCR’s eco-friendly Durga Pujas on October 24

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
PUBLISHED ON OCT 11, 2017 06:26 PM IST
The award, called Saktibhute Sanatani Paribesh Bandhab Sarodotsab Sanman, 2017, which was conceptualised five years ago but this time has been organised along with the CPCB, will see CR Park’s Cooperative Pujo Committee and Gurgaon’s Bangiya Parishad take top honours on October 24.
Delhi’s annual pollution nightmare is already taking shape beyond its borders as cases of crop stubble burning are being reported from Haryana and Punjab.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
Delhi’s annual pollution nightmare is already taking shape beyond its borders as cases of crop stubble burning are being reported from Haryana and Punjab.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

A farmer’s dilemma: Can stubble be more than just waste?

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder and Joydeep Thakur
UPDATED ON OCT 11, 2017 10:53 AM IST
With no viable alternative, thousands of farmers set their fields on fire despite being aware of the consequences of the act on the air they breathe. A look at the possible solutions.
Some commuters felt the hike was justified, others said they will be forced to use personal transport.(HT FILE)
Some commuters felt the hike was justified, others said they will be forced to use personal transport.(HT FILE)

‘Will take a bus now’: How Delhi Metro commuters are dealing with fare hike

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON OCT 10, 2017 01:36 PM IST
Delhi Metro fare was hiked the second time this year on Monday after DMRC board said it has no power to change the recommendations of the fare fixation committee. Following the hike, some commuters said they will now have to consider alternative transport.
According to a report on the composition of firecrackers prepared by the Chest Research Foundation, Pune, firecrackers produce extremely high levels of PM 2.5 over a short period of time.(Mohd Zakir/HT FILE)
According to a report on the composition of firecrackers prepared by the Chest Research Foundation, Pune, firecrackers produce extremely high levels of PM 2.5 over a short period of time.(Mohd Zakir/HT FILE)

How ban on firecrackers may help Delhi breathe easy this Diwali

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON OCT 10, 2017 12:23 PM IST
Supreme Court reinstated its ban on the sale of firecrackers in and around New Delhi ahead of Diwali, to stop a toxic haze from engulfing the region like last year.
Farmers set agricultural stubble on fire in Punjab. Smoke from fields in Punjab and Haryana chokes Delhi every year.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
Farmers set agricultural stubble on fire in Punjab. Smoke from fields in Punjab and Haryana chokes Delhi every year.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

Stubble burning begins: Hold your breath Delhiites, that deadly smog is coming

Hindustan Times | By Joydeep Thakur and Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON OCT 09, 2017 05:08 PM IST
Every year in October, farmers in northern India burn stubble due to lack of alternative ways for its disposal. This year too, as farmers begin to set stubble afire, HT travels to Punjab and Haryana for a ground report.
Crop residue is usually set afire due to cost concerns and short time gap between summer and winter crops, besides lack of incentives and equipment to manually cut down the stubble.(HT FIle)
Crop residue is usually set afire due to cost concerns and short time gap between summer and winter crops, besides lack of incentives and equipment to manually cut down the stubble.(HT FIle)

Draw aid plan for farmers to stop stubble burning: NGT tells Punjab govt

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON OCT 04, 2017 09:28 PM IST
The NGT directed Punjab government officials to talk to farmers and reach a plan to assist them in cutting down stubble instead of setting it afire.
A Durga Puja pandal at Pocket 40 in CR Park on Sunday.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
A Durga Puja pandal at Pocket 40 in CR Park on Sunday.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

Traditional pandals at Delhi’s ‘mini Kolkata’ get a modern touch

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON SEP 25, 2017 11:26 AM IST
CR Park in south Delhi has 12 Durga Puja venues where thousands from Delhi-NCR visit to celebrate the festival. Some Puja committees have now started organising pandals as per a theme while others stick to the traditional way.
Then president Rajendra Prasad offers prayers at the New Delhi Kali Bari in September 1960 .
Then president Rajendra Prasad offers prayers at the New Delhi Kali Bari in September 1960 .

Old is gold: Delhi’s Vintage Durga Pujas stay rooted in tradition

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON SEP 24, 2017 07:54 AM IST
Timarpur organisers say that while Kashmere Gate was registered in 1911, the Timarpur Puja, on paper, dates back to 1914.
The sighting of butterfly species like Painted Lady (above) was among the highlights of the drive.(HT FILE)
The sighting of butterfly species like Painted Lady (above) was among the highlights of the drive.(HT FILE)

15 teams record 50 butterfly species across Delhi, Painted Lady spotted after years

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON SEP 23, 2017 05:23 PM IST
Delhi’s Big Butterfly Count initiative was led by researchers from Bombay Natural History Society. Psyche, Indian Red Flash, Red Pierrot, Chocolate Pansy, African babul blue and Painted Lady were spotted in the drive.
Every year lakhs of devotees visit pandals in CR Park during the Durga Puja celebrations.(HT FILE)
Every year lakhs of devotees visit pandals in CR Park during the Durga Puja celebrations.(HT FILE)

Delhi’s CR Park gears up for Durga Puja: 5 things to know if you plan to visit

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON SEP 20, 2017 02:36 PM IST
With preparations on for Durga Puja festivities in CR Park, MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj said traffic restrictions will be put in place to manage the rush of devotees.
Idols from nearly 200 Durga Pujas from across Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad are immersed at different Yamuna ghats every year.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)
Idols from nearly 200 Durga Pujas from across Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad are immersed at different Yamuna ghats every year.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

Tight vigil at Yamuna ghats during Durga idol immersion

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON SEP 22, 2017 12:22 PM IST
Idols from nearly 200 Durga Pujas from across Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad are immersed at different Yamuna ghats every year.
AAP spokesperson and local MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj, who was spearheading the initiative in close coordination with the Puja committees, said there is some Delhi Jal Board land in the area but they are too small for immersion.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)
AAP spokesperson and local MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj, who was spearheading the initiative in close coordination with the Puja committees, said there is some Delhi Jal Board land in the area but they are too small for immersion.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

Lack of land stops on-site immersion of Durga idols in Delhi’s CR Park

HIndustan Times | By Ritam Halder
PUBLISHED ON SEP 14, 2017 07:55 PM IST
A member of the school management committee confirmed the development saying that the decision was taken after opposition from many members on the “sensitive” issue.
Hotel Le Meridien in New Delhi
Hotel Le Meridien in New Delhi

NDMC issues public notice against Le Meridien hotel, threatens to cut water, power connections

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON SEP 13, 2017 11:50 PM IST
The move comes days after the Delhi high court dismissed a plea of CJ International seeking a stay on eviction proceedings and coercive action by the NDMC over alleged non-payment of dues.
Scores of people, including editors, social activists, poets, and teachers, today paid tributes to slain journalist Gauri Lankesh at a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)
Scores of people, including editors, social activists, poets, and teachers, today paid tributes to slain journalist Gauri Lankesh at a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

In pics I Not In My Name protests resurface in Delhi after Gauri Lankesh murder

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON SEP 08, 2017 04:33 PM IST
Among the prominent people who attended the event were filmmaker Saba Dewan, actor Zeeshan Ayyub and JNU student leader Umar Khalid. The members of Not In My Name campaign will now organise 100-odd small events on September 10.
Locals scavenge for the remains of idols in the Yamuna after Durga Puja in New Delhi on October 12, 2016.(Ravi Choudhary/HT File Photo)
Locals scavenge for the remains of idols in the Yamuna after Durga Puja in New Delhi on October 12, 2016.(Ravi Choudhary/HT File Photo)

Delhi’s ‘little Kolkata’ shows the way, not to immerse Durga Puja idols in Yamuna

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON SEP 06, 2017 04:58 PM IST
At least six Durga Puja Samitis in south Delhi’s CR Park and areas around have agreed to immerse idols in a pond to be built in Raisina Bengali School
Residents of Bhalswa pointing out at the landfill near their houses.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Residents of Bhalswa pointing out at the landfill near their houses.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

Ticking garbage bombs: Ghazipur rerun at north Delhi’s Bhalswa will be disastrous

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Ritam Halder and Vibha Sharma
UPDATED ON SEP 03, 2017 08:08 AM IST
There is not even a boundary wall separating the trash hillock and the brick jhuggis. The lone wall is around a Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board public toilet.
The move has been planned because of the approaching winter season and peak air pollution period, which begins in Delhi-NCR from Diwali onwards.(Hindustan Times)
The move has been planned because of the approaching winter season and peak air pollution period, which begins in Delhi-NCR from Diwali onwards.(Hindustan Times)

40 teams deployed in Delhi to keep watch on pollution in next four months

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON SEP 03, 2017 12:35 AM IST
The move has been planned because of the approaching winter season and peak air pollution period, which begins in Delhi-NCR from Diwali onwards.
During the meeting to review the Graded Response Action Plan, which lists measures to prevent air pollution, the EPCA stressed that the Capital cannot afford a repeat of 2010, when dust had shrouded Delhi during the Commonwealth Games.(PTI)
During the meeting to review the Graded Response Action Plan, which lists measures to prevent air pollution, the EPCA stressed that the Capital cannot afford a repeat of 2010, when dust had shrouded Delhi during the Commonwealth Games.(PTI)

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Pollution control panel wants early rollout of strict measures in Delhi

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON SEP 02, 2017 12:43 PM IST
The 24-team FIFA tournament will see eight matches in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium between October 6 and 16.
Of the total garbage generated in the city, about 10,000 metric tonnes, 50% is fit for composting and 30% is recyclable. Only 20% should reach the landfills, say experts.(PTI)
Of the total garbage generated in the city, about 10,000 metric tonnes, 50% is fit for composting and 30% is recyclable. Only 20% should reach the landfills, say experts.(PTI)

Lessons from Ghazipur: How we can stop the garbage mountains from sprouting in our cities

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
PUBLISHED ON SEP 01, 2017 11:55 PM IST
Of the total garbage generated in the city, about 10,000 metric tonnes, 50% is fit for composting and 30% is recyclable. Only 20% should reach the landfills, say experts.
Durga Puja pandals in Chittaranjan Park will immerse Durga idols in artificial ponds instead of Yamuna this year. The National Green Tribunal in 2015 had banned immersion of idols made from non-biodegradable material such as quick-setting gypsum plaster, also known as Plaster of Paris, or plastic in the Yamuna.(Ravi Choudhary/HT Photo)
Durga Puja pandals in Chittaranjan Park will immerse Durga idols in artificial ponds instead of Yamuna this year. The National Green Tribunal in 2015 had banned immersion of idols made from non-biodegradable material such as quick-setting gypsum plaster, also known as Plaster of Paris, or plastic in the Yamuna.(Ravi Choudhary/HT Photo)

CR Park will celebrate Yamuna-friendly Durga Puja this year

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
PUBLISHED ON SEP 01, 2017 08:49 PM IST
This festive season, Durga idols from Chittaranjan Park might not go all the way to Okhla for immersion in the Yamuna. According to a Delhi government proposal, the visarjans (immersion) might happen in the Bengali neighbourhood itself.
10 sanitation workers died in Delhi in five weeks during cleaning of the sewers in July-August 2017.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT PHOTO)
10 sanitation workers died in Delhi in five weeks during cleaning of the sewers in July-August 2017.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT PHOTO)

Delhi sewer deaths: Jal board workers demand immediate action to save sanitation workers

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
PUBLISHED ON AUG 29, 2017 10:59 PM IST
The demand comes in the wake of the death of 10 sanitation workers in five weeks during cleaning of the sewers in July-August 2017. The Delhi Jal Board Karamchari Union called for swift action on the part of the government to stop untrained, daily wage labourers from entering Delhi sewers.
People caught in the Monsoon rain near Moti Bagh in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday.(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)
People caught in the Monsoon rain near Moti Bagh in New Delhi, India, on Wednesday.(Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)

Delhi monsoon ends dry spell, rain to continue this whole week

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON AUG 24, 2017 01:12 PM IST
Delhi weather is likely to stay pleasant and wet at least till the weekend. Expect a heavy downpour on Saturday, say Met department
Nine people were killed in the city’s sewers in a span of one month in three separate incidents.
Nine people were killed in the city’s sewers in a span of one month in three separate incidents.

Vigilance committees to check sewer deaths in Delhi

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
PUBLISHED ON AUG 19, 2017 10:48 PM IST
“The vigilance committee will be headed by the district magistrate and will include two MLAs, police officials, deputy commissioner of municipal corporations and four social workers, among others
People enjoy pleasant weather at Jama Masjid on Saturday.(RajkRaj / HT Photo)
People enjoy pleasant weather at Jama Masjid on Saturday.(RajkRaj / HT Photo)

Delhi rains to make weekend pleasant, Met office says be ready for stormy weather

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON AUG 19, 2017 02:44 PM IST
Delhi received showers early on Saturday morning which brought temperatures down to a comfortable 26 degrees Celsius.
Toxic sewer gases killed two brothers cleaning a sewage tank without safety gear at a mall in east Delhi on Saturday afternoon
Toxic sewer gases killed two brothers cleaning a sewage tank without safety gear at a mall in east Delhi on Saturday afternoon
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the families of the victims along with water minister Rajendra Gautam.(Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times)
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the families of the victims along with water minister Rajendra Gautam.(Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times)

Delhi sewer deaths: Kejriwal announces Rs 10 lakh, job for kin of victims

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON AUG 08, 2017 04:19 PM IST
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said a committee will be formed to examine why such incidents happen frequently and what can be done to prevent them.
Air pollution data in Delhi is currently taken from 28 monitoring stations – four run by the DPCC, eight by the Met department and the rest by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Air pollution data in Delhi is currently taken from 28 monitoring stations – four run by the DPCC, eight by the Met department and the rest by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

Air pollution in Delhi: Is the next monitoring station coming up in your area? Check the list

Hindustan Times | By Ritam Halder
UPDATED ON AUG 08, 2017 12:06 PM IST
Hindustan Times has the final list of these new air quality monitoring stations being set up by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and they are expected to be in place before Diwali this year.
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