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Pollution levels rise in Delhi, CPCB fines civic bodies Rs1 crore each

The CPCB in three separate notices — all dated January 16 — held Delhi’s three civic bodies responsible for violation of green norms.

delhi Updated: Jan 18, 2019 13:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Commuters drive amidst heavy smog along a road in New Delhi on January 17, 2019.
Commuters drive amidst heavy smog along a road in New Delhi on January 17, 2019. (AFP)
         

On a day air pollution in Delhi plummeted to the ‘severe’ category, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) slapped a fine of Rs 1 crore each on the three municipal corporations of the national capital for failing to curb garbage burning, dumping of construction and demolition waste and allowing illegal plastic industries to operate in parts of the city.

Air quality in the national capital worsened on Thursday, making it the second most polluted day this January.

The air quality index (AQI), as recorded by CPCB, was 440 at 4pm, against Wednesday’s reading of 371. Delhi had last recorded an AQI above 400 on January 3, when it touched 444. The CPCB task force will review the situation on Friday .

The CPCB in three separate notices — all dated January 16 — held the city’s three civic bodies responsible for violation of green norms under section 31A of the Air (prevention and control of pollution) Act, 1981. Dumping of garbage contributes to over 13 % while open garbage burning over 11% to air pollution.

“The fine of Rs 1 crore each has been levied on these civic bodies for non-compliance of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The agencies are requested to deposit the amount by January 31, failing which persecution shall be initiated,” the notice read. Also, the Central pollution control agency has levied a fine of Rs1 lakh on the New Delhi Municipal Council holding it “responsible for dumping/littering of waste in some of the areas under its jurisdiction.” Officials in the three corporations said they are yet to see the order.

On Thursday, the particulate matter (PM) concentration levels had breached the emergency levels with PM2.5 shooting up to 345 and PM10 to 513 at 7pm Thursday.

Delhi residents have more bad news in store with the temperature also dropping to 4.2 degrees Celsius on Thursday from 4.5 degrees on Wednesday and experts predicting a cold wave by Friday.

The India Meteorological Department has issued a cold wave warning for Friday and said the night temperature could dip to 4 degrees Celsius, owing to northwesterly winds carrying the chill from Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, which have received fresh snowfall.

The minimum temperature on Thursday was 4.2 degrees Celsius, three notches below the season’s normal. Also, moderate fog was reported in parts of Delhi with the lowest visibility, at 250 metres in the morning, being reported from IGI Airport.

First Published: Jan 18, 2019 13:33 IST

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