Delhi government’s plan of action to curb pollution in winter: All you need to know
Every year, Delhi’s pollution levels soar in winter due to a combination of factors, including changes in meteorology such as cold weather, calm winds, local emissions, coupled with stubble-burning in neighbouring states. This year too, the Delhi government is working to curb pollution from spiking in the next few months by putting together a plan of action.
Here are some of the points on the government’s agenda
Ask neighbouring states to intervene early and curb stubble-burning
Some districts of Punjab and Haryana have already started burning crop residue. The central government as well as Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority EPCA have asked the two states to ensure that subsidies to purchase equipment reach farmers in time so that they don’t need to burn the paddy stubble, especially during the harvest season mid-October, leading to a spike in pollution levels.
Clear pollution hot spots within Delhi
There are 13 major hot spots in the city, besides several industrial areas, where pollution levels spike more than average during winter, mainly because of waste burning, road dust and traffic congestion. The burning needs to be stopped and roads paved to prevent pollution from increasing here.
Prevent the dumping of waste
Stacks of waste, including plastic and rubber, are piled up at a number of places across the city, which are eventually set on fire. Dumping of waste needs to be checked, and areas such as roadsides and areas under bridges need to be cleared to prevent burning.
Augment public transport
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, public transport is not running at optimal capacity. The government needs to find a way to increase the frequency of public transport so that vehicular emissions are limited.
Coordinate better with NCR towns
During winter, it’s the pollution in India’s northwest which leads to a spike in Delhi’s pollution levels as well. In neighbouring towns, including Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram and Faridabad, the pollution levels remain high because of a number of unregulated industries, inadequate supply of electricity forcing people to use diesel generator (DG) sets, which cause major pollution. The government needs to coordinate with the authorities in said towns and ask them to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply and a ban on DG sets.