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Tuesday, Mar 5, 2024

Delhi Pollution Highlights: Capital chokes as 'very poor' air quality persists

Delhi Pollution Highlights: Schools in the national capital have been asked to suspend physical classes, except for classes 10 and 12 till November 10.
Dense smog near the Yamuna River in New Delhi on Monday. (Sunil Ghosh /HT PHOTO)
Dense smog near the Yamuna River in New Delhi on Monday. (Sunil Ghosh /HT PHOTO)

Delhi Pollution Highlights: Delhi continues to be covered by a toxic haze, with the Air Quality Index (AQI) in the ‘very poor’ category, recorded at 395 as of 7am on Tuesday. According to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), Delhi sees its peak pollution levels between November 1 and November 15, a period when incidents of stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana rise significantly....Read More

Schools in the national capital have been ordered to suspend physical classes, except for Classes 10 and 12, until November 10, the odd-even car rationing system returning from November 13 till 20 to combat air pollution.

On Tuesday morning, the AQI readings for various areas were as follows: Anand Vihar measured 432, RK Puram recorded 437, Punjabi Bagh registered 439, and New Moti Bagh showed a reading of 410.

Delhi has been helped by an increase in surface winds during the day on Monday, combined with a host of restrictions coming into force under stage 4 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) a day earlier.

Follow all the updates here:
Nov 7, 2023 10:51 PM IST

Because of Mann govt's efforts, stubble burning incidents are on decline in Punjab: AAP

The ruling AAP in Punjab Tuesday said the Bhagwant Mann government is constantly taking steps to check stubble-burning incidents in the state and as a result of this, the number of farm fires is on a decline.

Punjab Aam Aadmi Party chief spokesman Malvinder Singh Kang said so far, farmers have been provided with 1.40 lakh crop residue management machines to manage stubble.

He added that the state government also conducted massive awareness programmes in villages in order to prevent crop residue burning incidents.

"Since its formation, the Mann government has constantly been taking steps to curb stubble burning in Punjab and these efforts are even showing results," Kang said.

PTI

Nov 7, 2023 9:43 PM IST

Unnecessarily being targeted, defamed for Delhi air pollution: Punjab farmers

Farmers in Punjab Tuesday said they were unnecessarily being targeted and defamed for air pollution in Delhi, asserting that industries, vehicles and the construction sector are the major sources of pollution in the national capital and not stubble burning.

Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is considered a contributing factor to the spike in pollution levels in Delhi in October and November every year.

PTI

Nov 7, 2023 8:59 PM IST

Over 4,700 vehicle owners fined in Delhi for driving without PUC certificates in last four days

Amid high pollution levels in the national capital, Delhi Traffic Police has issued over 4,700 challans to vehicle owners driving without a pollution under control (PUC) certificate in the last four days, officials said on Tuesday.

Stage IV of the Centre's pollution control plan called the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) came into force in Delhi on Sunday as the city's air quality plummeted to the 'severe plus' category. Under the final Stage IV of the plan, all kinds of construction work and the entry of polluting trucks into the city have been banned.

GRAP categorises actions into four stages: Stage I - 'Poor' (AQI 201-300); Stage II - 'Very Poor' (AQI 301-400); Stage III - 'Severe' (AQI 401-450); and Stage IV - 'Severe Plus' (AQI>450).

PTI

Nov 7, 2023 8:32 PM IST

Delhi pollution: Air purifiers, oxygen cylinders come to rescue of elderly at old age homes

From installing air purifiers to keeping oxygen cylinders on standby, old age homes in Delhi are sparing no effort to safeguard the well-being of their occupants amid the worsening air quality in the national capital.

The city's retirement homes have also advised its residents, especially those with breathing problems, to avoid going out and instead engage in physical activities and yoga indoors.

"We have pro-actively placed emergency oxygen cylinders around the property to address any respiratory concerns due to the rising air pollution," Rajeshwari Mishra, secretary of Shiv Ashray Old Age Home in north Delhi's Rohini said.

PTI

Nov 7, 2023 7:33 PM IST

Western disturbance comes to Delhi’s rescue amid steady spike in air pollution levels

Delhi has been experiencing alarming levels of air pollution over the past six days and policy measures to mitigate the crisis have not yielded much in containing the situation, especially due to stubble burning in the nearby states of Punjab and Haryana.

With restrictions under stage 4 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in place, and the odd-even curb on vehicular movement in the offing, a western disturbance (WD) seems to have also come to the city’s rescue, weather officials said.

Read Here.

Nov 7, 2023 6:28 PM IST

Delhi CM recommends immediate suspension of DPCC chairman Ashwani Kumar to Delhi LG

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has recommended immediate suspension of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee chairman Ashwani Kumar to Delhi LG, ANI reports.

Nov 7, 2023 5:16 PM IST

"We held discussions with farmers": Punjab Govt after SC order on Delhi air crisis

Speaking on the Supreme Court's order to the Punjab government to stop burning the stubble, state cabinet minister Bram Shanker Sharma said that the government is putting all efforts from their side to control one of the main cause of pollution in Northern India - stubble burning by farmers.

Amid rising concerns over deteriorating air quality in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Punjab government to stop stubble burning and listed the matter for hearing on November 10.

Bram Shanker Sharma told ANI "Punjab government put in all efforts from their side. We held discussions with farmers and appealed to them not to burn stubble and to choose alternative crops. The government is committed to stop burning stubble so that the environment is not harmed. We respect the Supreme Court. CM Bhagwant Mann has also appealed to the farmers and I am hopeful that the situation will improve."

Nov 7, 2023 4:35 PM IST

Will go by order: Delhi govt on odd-even after Supreme Court's ‘optics’ rap

Delhi's Environment Minister, Gopal Rai, has stated that the government will initiate a thorough examination of the Supreme Court's recent directive before implementing the odd-even rule. This comes in response to the Supreme Court's criticism of the government's handling of the pollution crisis in the National Capital, as well as its inquiry into the effectiveness of the odd-even car rationing scheme. The top court, referring to the government's announcement of the return of the odd-even scheme from November 13 to November 20, remarked, "It's all optics."

During a meeting of the transport department on Tuesday, discussions were underway to finalize the specifics of the odd-even scheme. However, the government decided to shift its focus upon encountering certain remarks and directives from the Supreme Court. Consequently, instead of an immediate announcement of the odd-even rules, the government intends to carefully review and incorporate the Supreme Court's orders and observations into the scheme, as indicated by Gopal Rai.

Read Here.

Nov 7, 2023 4:13 PM IST

Both Centre, states complicit in their inaction: Jairam Ramesh after SC observations on Delhi pollution

With the Supreme Court taking a stern view of the pollution situation in the national capital, former environment minister and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday said both the Centre and the states have been complicit in their "inaction".

Ramesh also urged the Supreme Court, in the same spirit, to intervene to reverse what he said was the "weakening" of the National Green Tribunal by the Modi government.

Amid a spike in pollution levels in Delhi-NCR, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to ensure crop residue burning was stopped "forthwith", saying it cannot let "people die" due to pollution.

PTI

Nov 7, 2023 3:59 PM IST

Our team and officers are going on the ground to manage: Chairman of Punjab Pollution Control Board

On stubble burning in Punjab, Chairman Punjab Pollution Control Board Adarsh Pal Vig said to ANI, "The data that has come to us till November 6 shows that the total number of such cases is 19,463. Last year, approximately 30,000 cases came... According to these data, we have recorded a 35% reduction from last year... In the past few days, stubble-burning cases have increased. This is a matter of concern. Our team and officers are going on the ground to manage according to the action plan. In the coming days, our target is to achieve -50%... There is a process for reporting. After that, the team goes there, and they verify it... There is one environmental compensation directive from the NGT. For polluting the environment, the polluter has to pay a financial amount according to the pay principle. 1,646 cases have been verified..."

Nov 7, 2023 3:50 PM IST

Crop stubble being burned in a village of Patiala in Punjab

Nov 7, 2023 3:43 PM IST

MoS Environment Ashwini Choubey holds review meeting over pollution

Nov 7, 2023 3:41 PM IST

Supreme Court’s directive on pollution is a slap on the face of Kejriwal: BJP

The BJP took a dig at AAP and said the Supreme Court’s directive on pollution is a slap on the face of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and demanded that he apologise for turning the national capital into a gas chamber.

Reacting to the court’s decision, BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said, "After the complete expose of the Aam Aadmi Party by the Supreme Court on Delhi’s Air Pollution and Punjab stubble issue, Arvind Kejriwal should apologise for making Delhi a gas chamber and stealing our right to breathe fresh air over the last 8 years".

Nov 7, 2023 3:18 PM IST

Schools in Noida to remain closed till November 10 due to pollution

All schools in Noida and Greater Noida will remain closed till November 10 owing to the deteriorating air quality in Uttar Pradesh's Gautambydha Nagar district.

Nov 7, 2023 2:58 PM IST

Instead of the blame game, we all should be working together: Shelly Oberoi

On Air pollution in Delhi, Delhi Mayor Shelly Oberoi said ti ANI, "...Instead of the blame game, we all should be working together on the issue of pollution...In MCD, around 517 teams have been formed in which more than 1100 workers as well as officials have been deployed...At ground level intense water sprinkling is being done in the morning and evening shifts through water sprinklers, anti-smog guns, and jetting machines. 13 hotspots were also identified...The best part is in the last three days...AQI has improved and pollution level has decreased,"

Nov 7, 2023 2:56 PM IST

Supreme Court orders states to stop stubble burning; directs Cabinet Secretary to hold meeting

Delhi’s choked air is resulting in “complete murder of our young people”, said the Supreme Court on Tuesday as it ordered immediate ban on stubble burning by neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and directed Cabinet Secretary to meet all stakeholders on Wednesday to devise an immediate cure to the rising pollution levels in the city. The matter will be heard next on Friday.

A bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia said, “We want this stopped altogether whether you take forceful action or give incentives against burning of stubble but you have to stop it. We are at zero level patience in these issues. This has to be sorted tomorrow so that it does not happen next year.”

Nov 7, 2023 2:51 PM IST

Delhi govt to wait on SC's written orders before taking decision on odd-even: Gopal Rai

Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday said the Delhi government will wait for the Supreme Court's written orders -- which had held hearing on air pollution on the same day -- based on which a decision on the odd-even scheme and its implementation will be taken. The Supreme Court on Tuesday raised questions on implementing the odd-even scheme in Delhi asked whether it had ever succeeded before.

"Odd-even has been implemented in Delhi, but has it ever succeeded? This is all optics." a bench comprising of Justices SK Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia had said during a hearing on pollution in Delhi.

Nov 7, 2023 2:11 PM IST

Unnecessarily being targeted, defamed for Delhi air pollution: Punjab farmers

Farmers in Punjab on Tuesday claimed that they were unnecessarily being targeted and defamed for air pollution in Delhi, asserting that industries, vehicles and the construction sector are the major sources of pollution in the national capital and not stubble burning.

Nov 7, 2023 1:59 PM IST

IndiGo CEO addresses flight crew, staff amid concerns over poor air quality

Pieter Elbers, Chief Executive Officer of IndiGo, on Monday said that the crew and staff about the deteriorating air quality in Delhi and the National Capital Region.

When asked about the measures IndiGo is taking to address air pollution, the CEO stated, "Of course, we interact with everyone on that and we make sure that we try to control the air quality inside. But what's happening outside is a consequence of a lot of different factors."

Nov 7, 2023 1:31 PM IST

Mumbai: Skyscrapers, buildings remain veiled behind haze of smog as air quality recorded poor

Mumbai's air quality was recorded as 'Moderate' on Tuesday morning with a thick haze of smoke and fog veiling skyscrapers, buildings and other residential areas in the city.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) for Mumbai was recorded at 159 at 1 pm which is considered 'Moderate'.

Nov 7, 2023 1:07 PM IST

Delhi chokes as 'severe' air quality persists, truck entry restricted

Thick clouds of smog shrouded parts of the national capital as the air quality across the metropolitan city continued to remain in 'severe' category on Tuesday, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

According to the data shared by the CPCB, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Anand Vihar was recorded at 440, 388 at Narela, 434 at Punjabi Bagh, 431 at RK Puram, and 408 at Shadipur, all in the 'severe category zone'.

Likewise, the AQI at Jahangirpuri was recorded at 416, 404 at IGI Airport, 337 at Pusa Road, and 407 at Sonia Vihar.

Nov 7, 2023 1:02 PM IST

Stop crop burning forthwith: Supreme Court told states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Stop crop burning forthwith, the Supreme Court on Tuesday told states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The Court directed the local SHO to be responsible for implementing this order under the overall supervision of Chief Secretary.

The Court directed Cabinet Secretary to call for a meeting of all stakeholders tomorrow for an immediate solution to Delhi’s pollution.

The Court said, “We are at zero level patience on this issue now” and hoped to get some redemption from polluted air by Friday.

Nov 7, 2023 12:35 PM IST

I would suggest Kejriwal to leave political tourism and pay attention to Delhi: BJP

On Delhi pollution, BJP MP Parvesh Verma said to ANI, "In Punjab, cases of stubble burning have increased by 700 per cent as compared to last year... Arvind Kejriwal is going for election campaigning in other states... If he had done something for Delhi, we would not have seen this. I would suggest he leave political tourism and pay attention to Delhi...The Indian government is doing its work. The stubble burning cases have decreased in Haryana..."

Nov 7, 2023 12:33 PM IST

Supreme Court summons Delhi Pollution Control Committee for reportedly shutting down the two smog towers

Supreme Court summons Delhi Pollution Control Committee's chairman Ashwani Kumar for reportedly shutting down the two smog towers in Delhi; directs operationalising the towers immediately

Nov 7, 2023 12:05 PM IST

"The Govt has been propagating millets. Why not promote it?": SC

Supreme Court also puts onus on the Centre, suggesting it should stop supporting MSP for paddy in Punjab and should rather find ways to make farmers shift to alternative crops.

Nov 7, 2023 11:55 AM IST

Supreme Court pulls up Punjab over stubble burning: ‘Don't know how you do it, but it must stop’

The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Punjab government over stubble burning. It observed that there can't be a political battle all the time. “We want it (stubble burning) stopped. We don't know how you do it, it’s your job. But it must be stopped. Something has to be done immediately,” the Supreme Court to the Punjab government.

Nov 7, 2023 11:15 AM IST

Indo-Gangetic Plains and beyond grapple with poor air quality

An air quality crisis gripped the Indo-Gangetic plains from Amritsar in Punjab to Asansol in West Bengal on Monday, causing inconvenience to approximately 40 per cent of the country's population, reported PTI.

Satellite images showed a layer of smoky haze blanketing the entire IGP region.

Sri Ganganagar (AQI -- 310), Churu (308), Bharatpur (319), Bhiwadi (433), Dholpur (357), and Hanumangarh in Rajasthan; Faridabad (412), Fatehabad (422), Jind (381), Hisar (377), Bhiwani (335), Sonipat (417), and Gurugram (373) in Haryana recorded hazardous air quality on Monday.

Nov 7, 2023 11:05 AM IST

Delhi has seen three previous stints of the odd-even scheme being implemented in 2016, 2017 and 2019

In the previous versions, the exempted categories included two-wheelers, EVs, vehicles with women passengers, children aged up to 12 years, taxis, physically disabled people, VIPs, and emergency and defence vehicles among others. The government, ahead of the 2017 odd-even, had argued that two-wheelers need not be exempted, as they pollute more than four-wheelers, but Supreme Court had stayed this decision, making two-wheelers exempt from coming under the road-rationing scheme.

Delhi has seen three previous stints of the odd-even scheme being implemented in 2016, 2017 and 2019. In the first stint, it had been implemented in two phases -- first from January 1-15, followed by the second phase in April 16-30. The scheme was also introduced again in 2017 – for a week and for 12 days in 2019.

Nov 7, 2023 10:42 AM IST

Delhi govt to decide on exemptions for odd-even today

The Delhi government will be holding a meeting today to decide exemptions for the odd-even scheme that is to be implemented for a week between November 13-20. Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai had on Monday that the government was bringing the vehicle rationing scheme back, since pollution is expected to spike once more after Diwali.

“The decision to impose odd-even has been taken as after Diwali, pollution may rise further. Odd-even will come into effect a day after Diwali, for a week’s time, so from November 13 till November 20. After that, based on the pollution levels prevailing in Delhi, further decisions can be taken,” Rai said, in a press conference after the meeting.

Nov 7, 2023 10:38 AM IST

Most stubble burning cases taking place in BJP-ruled Haryana, UP: Punjab minister Cheema

Facing criticism over "rising" farm fires, Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema Monday said most stubble burning incidents are being witnessed in BJP-ruled Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

He claimed that such cases have declined in Punjab as the AAP government has provided crop residue management machinery to paddy growers to check stubble burning incidents in the state. There was a significant decline in the number of crop residue burning incidents in the state this season, Cheema told reporters here, replying to a question on Punjab being blamed for high air pollution in Delhi.

Nov 7, 2023 10:13 AM IST

Delhi's Hindu College develops hybrid air disinfection machine

Amid deteriorating air quality in Delhi, the startup cell of Delhi University's Hindu College has developed a hybrid air disinfection machine, an official statement said on Monday.

The machine is capable of taking care of both air pollution and air contaminants such as viruses and bacteria, among other infectious agents, it added.

It was found to be 99 per cent efficient in deactivating indoor air viruses, bacteria, and fungus in a test conducted by the Shriram Institute for Industrial Research in Delhi, according to the statement.

Nov 7, 2023 10:02 AM IST

Delhi government announced the return of the odd-even system from Nov 13-20

The Delhi government on Monday announced the return of its flagship odd-even scheme after four years, anticipating further deterioration of air quality post-Diwali. The odd-even scheme allows cars to operate on alternate days based on their odd or even number plates.

The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and Evidence for Policy Design had analysed the impact of the odd-even system in 2016 and found that Delhi saw a 14-16 per cent reduction in PM2.5 levels during the hours it remained in force in January that year. However, there was no reduction in pollution when the scheme was brought back in April that year.

Nov 7, 2023 9:41 AM IST

Concentration of PM2.5 exceeded the government-prescribed safe limit

Despite a marginal dip, the concentration of PM2.5 – fine particulate matter capable of penetrating deep into the respiratory system and triggering health problems – exceeded the government-prescribed safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre by seven to eight times in the capital.

It was 30 to 40 times the healthy limit of 15 micrograms per cubic metre set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Nov 7, 2023 9:13 AM IST

No entry for trucks carrying non-essential items into Delhi from Noida: Traffic police

With GRAP IV restrictions imposed in Delhi-NCR, the entry of trucks carrying non-essential items into the capital from Noida is banned and curbs have been placed on plying of BS-III (petrol) and BS-IV (diesel) vehicles in Gautam Buddh Nagar.

Nov 7, 2023 9:00 AM IST

Delhi government announced the return of the odd-even system from Nov 13-20

Anticipating further deterioration in air quality post-Diwali, the Delhi government announced the return of the odd-even system after a gap of four years. Under the odd-even system, vehicles with plate numbers ending in an even digit (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) are allowed to operate on even dates, while those ending in odd digits (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) can ply on odd dates.

Nov 7, 2023 8:47 AM IST

Delhi is likely to see wind speeds of 8-10kmph today

Delhi is likely to see wind speeds of 8-10kmph today afternoon as well, which should further aid in the dispersion of pollutants, officials said.

Nov 7, 2023 8:42 AM IST

The restrictions under GRAP stage IV kicked in on Sunday

The restrictions under GRAP stage IV, including a ban on all kinds of construction work and the entry of polluting trucks into the capital, kicked in on Sunday after air quality in the capital dropped to "severe plus" (AQI above 450) levels.

Nov 7, 2023 8:20 AM IST

Delhi education minister announced the closure of primary classes of all schools until November 10

Delhi education minister Atishi had on Sunday announced the closure of primary classes of all schools until November 10 and said schools have the option of teaching online for classes 6 to 12. However, all government and private schools opted to hold physical classes for Classes 6 to 12.

Nov 7, 2023 8:16 AM IST

Delhi's 24-hour average AQI stood at 421 on Monday

On Monday, Delhi's 24-hour average AQI, recorded at 4pm daily, stood at 421, a marginal improvement from 454 on Sunday, even as a toxic haze persisted over the city for the seventh consecutive day.

Nov 7, 2023 7:58 AM IST

AQI in Gurugram improved to ‘poor’ category

The air quality in Gurugram improved to the poor category on Tuesday morning, with the CPCB reading showing 399 AQI in Sector-51 at 6am. Gurugram District Disaster Management Authority chairman and DC Nishant Kumar Yadav said schools have been ordered to continue online studies so that the education of students is not disrupted.

Nov 7, 2023 7:57 AM IST

Delhi Pollution LIVE: AQI back in ‘very poor’ category after 5 days

After recording five consecutive 'severe' air days, Delhi's air quality returned to the 'very poor' category on Tuesday morning. Delhi's 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 395 (very poor) at 7 am today. It was 421 (severe) at 4 pm on Monday. Delhi has been helped by an increase in surface winds during the day on Monday, combined with a host of restrictions coming into force under stage 4 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) a day earlier.

Nov 7, 2023 7:54 AM IST

Delhi Pollution LIVE: AQI reading across Delhi remain in ‘severe’ category

On Tuesday morning at 7am, the AQI readings for various areas were as follows: Anand Vihar measured 432, RK Puram recorded 437, Punjabi Bagh registered 439, and New Moti Bagh showed a reading of 410.

Nov 7, 2023 11:55 AM IST

Supreme Court pulls up Punjab over stubble burning: ‘Don't know how you do it, but it must stop’

The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Punjab government over stubble burning. It observed that there can't be a political battle all the time. “We want it (stubble burning) stopped. We don't know how you do it, it’s your job. But it must be stopped. Something has to be done immediately,” the Supreme Court to the Punjab government.

Nov 7, 2023 11:15 AM IST

Indo-Gangetic Plains and beyond grapple with poor air quality

An air quality crisis gripped the Indo-Gangetic plains from Amritsar in Punjab to Asansol in West Bengal on Monday, causing inconvenience to approximately 40 per cent of the country's population, reported PTI.

Satellite images showed a layer of smoky haze blanketing the entire IGP region.

Sri Ganganagar (AQI -- 310), Churu (308), Bharatpur (319), Bhiwadi (433), Dholpur (357), and Hanumangarh in Rajasthan; Faridabad (412), Fatehabad (422), Jind (381), Hisar (377), Bhiwani (335), Sonipat (417), and Gurugram (373) in Haryana recorded hazardous air quality on Monday.

Nov 7, 2023 11:05 AM IST

Delhi has seen three previous stints of the odd-even scheme being implemented in 2016, 2017 and 2019

In the previous versions, the exempted categories included two-wheelers, EVs, vehicles with women passengers, children aged up to 12 years, taxis, physically disabled people, VIPs, and emergency and defence vehicles among others. The government, ahead of the 2017 odd-even, had argued that two-wheelers need not be exempted, as they pollute more than four-wheelers, but Supreme Court had stayed this decision, making two-wheelers exempt from coming under the road-rationing scheme.

Delhi has seen three previous stints of the odd-even scheme being implemented in 2016, 2017 and 2019. In the first stint, it had been implemented in two phases -- first from January 1-15, followed by the second phase in April 16-30. The scheme was also introduced again in 2017 – for a week and for 12 days in 2019.

Nov 7, 2023 10:42 AM IST

Delhi govt to decide on exemptions for odd-even today

The Delhi government will be holding a meeting today to decide exemptions for the odd-even scheme that is to be implemented for a week between November 13-20. Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai had on Monday that the government was bringing the vehicle rationing scheme back, since pollution is expected to spike once more after Diwali.

“The decision to impose odd-even has been taken as after Diwali, pollution may rise further. Odd-even will come into effect a day after Diwali, for a week’s time, so from November 13 till November 20. After that, based on the pollution levels prevailing in Delhi, further decisions can be taken,” Rai said, in a press conference after the meeting.

Nov 7, 2023 10:38 AM IST

Most stubble burning cases taking place in BJP-ruled Haryana, UP: Punjab minister Cheema

Facing criticism over "rising" farm fires, Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema Monday said most stubble burning incidents are being witnessed in BJP-ruled Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

He claimed that such cases have declined in Punjab as the AAP government has provided crop residue management machinery to paddy growers to check stubble burning incidents in the state. There was a significant decline in the number of crop residue burning incidents in the state this season, Cheema told reporters here, replying to a question on Punjab being blamed for high air pollution in Delhi.

Nov 7, 2023 10:13 AM IST

Delhi's Hindu College develops hybrid air disinfection machine

Amid deteriorating air quality in Delhi, the startup cell of Delhi University's Hindu College has developed a hybrid air disinfection machine, an official statement said on Monday.

The machine is capable of taking care of both air pollution and air contaminants such as viruses and bacteria, among other infectious agents, it added.

It was found to be 99 per cent efficient in deactivating indoor air viruses, bacteria, and fungus in a test conducted by the Shriram Institute for Industrial Research in Delhi, according to the statement.

Nov 7, 2023 10:02 AM IST

Delhi government announced the return of the odd-even system from Nov 13-20

The Delhi government on Monday announced the return of its flagship odd-even scheme after four years, anticipating further deterioration of air quality post-Diwali. The odd-even scheme allows cars to operate on alternate days based on their odd or even number plates.

The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and Evidence for Policy Design had analysed the impact of the odd-even system in 2016 and found that Delhi saw a 14-16 per cent reduction in PM2.5 levels during the hours it remained in force in January that year. However, there was no reduction in pollution when the scheme was brought back in April that year.

Nov 7, 2023 9:41 AM IST

Concentration of PM2.5 exceeded the government-prescribed safe limit

Despite a marginal dip, the concentration of PM2.5 – fine particulate matter capable of penetrating deep into the respiratory system and triggering health problems – exceeded the government-prescribed safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre by seven to eight times in the capital.

It was 30 to 40 times the healthy limit of 15 micrograms per cubic metre set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Nov 7, 2023 9:13 AM IST

No entry for trucks carrying non-essential items into Delhi from Noida: Traffic police

With GRAP IV restrictions imposed in Delhi-NCR, the entry of trucks carrying non-essential items into the capital from Noida is banned and curbs have been placed on plying of BS-III (petrol) and BS-IV (diesel) vehicles in Gautam Buddh Nagar.

Nov 7, 2023 9:00 AM IST

Delhi government announced the return of the odd-even system from Nov 13-20

Anticipating further deterioration in air quality post-Diwali, the Delhi government announced the return of the odd-even system after a gap of four years. Under the odd-even system, vehicles with plate numbers ending in an even digit (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) are allowed to operate on even dates, while those ending in odd digits (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) can ply on odd dates.

Nov 7, 2023 8:47 AM IST

Delhi is likely to see wind speeds of 8-10kmph today

Delhi is likely to see wind speeds of 8-10kmph today afternoon as well, which should further aid in the dispersion of pollutants, officials said.

Nov 7, 2023 8:42 AM IST

The restrictions under GRAP stage IV kicked in on Sunday

The restrictions under GRAP stage IV, including a ban on all kinds of construction work and the entry of polluting trucks into the capital, kicked in on Sunday after air quality in the capital dropped to "severe plus" (AQI above 450) levels.

Nov 7, 2023 8:20 AM IST

Delhi education minister announced the closure of primary classes of all schools until November 10

Delhi education minister Atishi had on Sunday announced the closure of primary classes of all schools until November 10 and said schools have the option of teaching online for classes 6 to 12. However, all government and private schools opted to hold physical classes for Classes 6 to 12.

Nov 7, 2023 8:16 AM IST

Delhi's 24-hour average AQI stood at 421 on Monday

On Monday, Delhi's 24-hour average AQI, recorded at 4pm daily, stood at 421, a marginal improvement from 454 on Sunday, even as a toxic haze persisted over the city for the seventh consecutive day.

Nov 7, 2023 7:58 AM IST

AQI in Gurugram improved to ‘poor’ category

The air quality in Gurugram improved to the poor category on Tuesday morning, with the CPCB reading showing 399 AQI in Sector-51 at 6am. Gurugram District Disaster Management Authority chairman and DC Nishant Kumar Yadav said schools have been ordered to continue online studies so that the education of students is not disrupted.

Nov 7, 2023 7:57 AM IST

Delhi Pollution LIVE: AQI back in ‘very poor’ category after 5 days

After recording five consecutive 'severe' air days, Delhi's air quality returned to the 'very poor' category on Tuesday morning. Delhi's 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 395 (very poor) at 7 am today. It was 421 (severe) at 4 pm on Monday. Delhi has been helped by an increase in surface winds during the day on Monday, combined with a host of restrictions coming into force under stage 4 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) a day earlier.

Nov 7, 2023 7:54 AM IST

Delhi Pollution LIVE: AQI reading across Delhi remain in ‘severe’ category

On Tuesday morning at 7am, the AQI readings for various areas were as follows: Anand Vihar measured 432, RK Puram recorded 437, Punjabi Bagh registered 439, and New Moti Bagh showed a reading of 410.