Delhi’s air gets cleaner but waste burning goes on unabated
Just when Delhi’s air quality was improving, on Monday, the blue sky around the Yamuna banks near Okhla was shrouded with thick, black clouds of smoke.
Residents of the nearby areas said someone had set ablaze a garbage dump and slowly the dried leaves also caught fire. It took 20 minutes and five fire tenders to control the blaze. But the damage had already been done.
Senior officials of the Delhi Fire Services (DFS) said that apart from Monday’s fire, nearly 18 garbage burning and open fires were reported from across the city over the weekend (Saturday and Sunday).
“We try to address cases of open fires with immediately, especially because of the increase in pollution levels. The figure this weekend was slightly higher than last weekend when five such cases were handled by DFS,” a senior fire official said.
Fire department records show that from November 1 to November 25, a total of 49 incidents of open fires were reported in Delhi. In October, the total number of open fire count was 43.
According to Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) application Sameer , garbage burning topped the list of pollution-related complaints lodged in the city in November. This was followed by road dust and construction waste. The Sameer app ranks complaints but doesn’t provide any absolute numbers.
CPCB officials said strict orders had been given to all pollution monitoring teams to pay special attention to cases of garbage burning and fires in open patches of land.
“Garbage burning is definitely a problem but it is also difficult to spot and control it in time. We have directed all the teams on ground to act promptly on such complaints,” a senior CPCB official said.
Experts said strict enforcement would help curb the problem but it will persist until government agencies take steps to create awareness among people and also come up with waste management strategies.
“Enforcement is definitely a problem area and because of loopholes in waste disposal channels. Burning seems to be the most convenient way. These incidents often go unchecked but if you look collectively, it does the most harm,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director (research and advocacy) at Centre for Science and Environment.
The Congress party in Udupi district requested the police and district administration to remove Vinayak Damodar Savarkar's posters installed on the backdrop of Independence Day celebrations. Their move comes after Karnataka Police on August 15 imposed Section 144 in parts of Shivamogga district after a clash over Savarkar and Tipu Sultan's banners at Ameer Ahmed circle on Independence Day. Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said nobody should take the law into their hands at any cost.
At least 27 kanwariyas were injured, eight of them seriously, when a bus bound to Kishanganj from Deoghar hit the divider on NH-31 near Kajra bridge under Dagarua police station about 15km from Purnia district headquarters on Wednesday morning. Station house officer, Dagarua Ramchandra Mandal claimed the accident took place due to the negligence of the bus driver. An injured, identified as Ghan Shyam Pandit, said they were returning from Deoghar and were on their way to Chhatarghat in Kishanganj.
The women's wing of the Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday filed a complaint with the Karnataka State Women's Commission, seeking action against former minister and Congress MLA Priyank Kharge over his lewd remark that women seeking government jobs in the BJP-ruled state have to give sexual favours. "MLA Priyank Kharge has spoken out against women during an event in Kalaburagi on August 12," AAP's Bengaluru women's wing president, Kushala Swamy, told reporters here.
LUCKNOW: Bharatiya Janata Party MP Harish Dewedi has asked Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath to declare Basti and eastern UP as drought-hit, the second UP leader to make the demand in view of deficient rainfall in large parts of the state. According to the India meteorological department data, Uttar Pradesh has received 45% less rainfall this monsoon till August 16.
A truck rammed into the official car of Madhya Pradesh minister Tulsiram Silawat in Dewas district of the state when he was travelling to Bhopal with his family members, but all of them escaped unhurt, a police official said. The incident occurred around 10 pm on Tuesday on Dewas Bypass road, he said. Police officials reached the spot after the accident and the driver of the truck was detained.