The National Green Tribunal (NGT) rapped the Centre and state governments for ‘failing miserably’ to finalise the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), five months after the government, under pressure from the media, was forced to prepare a draft.
Campaigners say courts have to intervene at every step, while the government is only extending emission deadlines and diluting emission norms for thermal power plants. The NGT has taken up the matter suo motu and given twenty three states and Union Territories two months to prepare their action plans to fight air pollution.
Delhi’s emergency action plan kicks in
Delhi’s emergency action plan to combat air pollution in the Capital, kicked in on October 15th as its air quality dipped. This winter, the government expects cleaner air in the Capital courtesy the inter-state action plan.
Smog from crop burning: IMA chief asks Delhi to stay indoors
Indian Medical Association (IMA) chief, Ravi Wankhedkar, has advised people in Delhi to stay indoors or wear N-95 masks when smog from crop burning intensifies in the region around November. The smog leads to respiratory diseases like Tuberculosis, he said.
Despite a ban, stubble burning continues. In a recent media discussion held in Chandigarh, Chief Principal Secretary, Suresh Kumar admitted to the need for policy interventions which support farmers while tackling air pollution. While Dr Ravindra Khaiwal from PGIMER Chandigarh, raised concerns about farmers as first victims. While Punjab is already reeling with cancer, burning stubble sends the harmful chemicals and pesticides in the air.
Delhi writes to Centre again on stubble burning
As Delhi’s air quality slipped to poor (AQI of 259) Delhi environment minister Imran Hussein wrote again to the Centre requesting an urgent high-level meeting with the chief ministers of neighbouring states. Hussein also requested the Centre to direct Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to contain stubble burning. He had previously written directly to the Haryana, Rajasthan and UP governments last month and made a similar appeal.
AIIMS director: Air pollution in Capital worse than in pre-CNG era
AIIMS director Dr. Randeep Guleria says air pollution dropped in the early 2000s after CNG was introduced in Delhi, but became worse than the pre-CNG era over the next decade because of diesel vehicles, construction and a lack of vision.
NTPC plant rapped over fly ash trucks
The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has sent a notice to a National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plant in Dadri over toxic fly ash pollution. The trucks supplying fly ash to cement and brick factories from the Dadri plant are reportedly flouting pollution norms.
BHEL bags Rs.2,900 crore orders for emission control equipment
Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has bagged a Rs.2,900-crore order from state power firm NTPC to supply equipment to control SO2 emissions. As per policy, India has to shut down polluting coal plants if they can’t be retrofitted with emission controls.