Seeking support: A new Decision Support System will be the latest tool employed in Delhi-NCR as the Capital region gears up for surging pollution during winter| Photo: GK Today

Govt plans to sell small LPG cylinders at ration shops

In a move that may provide cheaper access to cleaner cooking fuel, the Centre plans to sell small LPG cylinders through fair price shops also known as ration shops. There are around 5.26 lakh fair price shops in the country. These issues were discussed in a virtual meeting with state governments. Representatives from the ministries of electronics and IT; finance; petroleum and natural gas also attended the meeting. Representatives from oil marketing companies (OMCs) Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) were also present.

Decision Support System to map Delhi’s ambient air gets official nod from Centre

The Air Quality Commission finally gave its nod to a Decision Support System (DSS), a policy tool  developed by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, to tackle air quality in the National Capital Region (NCR). A separate DSS website has also been launched that displays how emissions from Delhi and the 19 surrounding districts impact Delhi’s ambient air. Emissions from industry, transport, construction, road dust, biomass burning, waste burning, and residential sources are mapped on a graph on the DSS portal. The system is mapping data from 19 districts, including Karnal, Jind, Rohtak and Meerut. The system is expected to help make critical policy level interventions to handle emissions.

Air filters and anti-smog guns: Ghaziabad initiates works for air quality improvement

The municipal corporation of Ghaziabad, one of the most polluted districts in the National Capital Region (NCR), launched a drive to improve air quality with plans to pave dusty road patches with greenery and stones and add more greenery to 200 existing parks.

A city forest on 32 acres near the polluted New Bus Adda Metro station is also on the cards. But the decision to instal band-aid schemes like 30 big air filters, six more anti-smog guns, each with a capacity of 6,000 litres, has drawn flak from environmentalists. Ghaziabad also plans to use e-vehicles to pick up daily solid waste. 

Slowed by rain, stubble burning incidents to rise in North India, warn experts 

Lingering monsoon showers in North India have delayed stubble burning incidents that are expected to spike up in the coming days, analysts warned. Analysing satellite data, scientists said there has been a drop in fires compared to the past few years because of the delayed monsoon withdrawal, but fires are increasing and soon, regional air quality will take a hit. Incidents are already rising. 

Recent government data showed Haryana’s Karnal reporting over 350 cases of farm fires with the government recommending FIR against 28 farmers, and Rs4.30 lakh fine  slapped on 171 farmers. Haryana reported 1,082 cases of farm fires in comparison to 2,811 till October 19, 2020. Apart from stubble burning, factories, vehicles and other sources also contributed to air pollution.

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