Delhi continues to battle killer smog, even as the court-imposed firecraker ban failed to improve the city’s air quality. The Capital’s air quality index (AQI) recently crossed the deadly 800 micrograms per cubic meter.
Delhi top priority? Top Court: Implement long-term pollution plan
After the annual ‘winter-pollution’ – which has forced the authorities to impose a 5-month long Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in Delhi that includes short-term bans on diesel generators, trucks, coal plants and crushers – the Supreme Court wants the firstever comprehensive action plan implemented, that requires Delhi to cut particulate pollution by 74%, and meet safety standards 98% of the time annually.
What about equally hazardous Chennai?
While Delhi has the much-needed 32 state monitoring stations generating data (16 more are to be added), and a WhatsApp helpline number (9717593574), the rest aren’t that lucky. Chennai’s particulate matter post-Diwali was 15 times (936.69 μg/m3) the permissible limit. The average AQIs remained life-threatening in the last week in Ghaziabad (397μg/m3), Kanpur (317μg/m3), Amritsar (342μg/m3), Delhi 338 (μg/m3), Ludhiana (320μg/m3).
Finally, Haryana to monitor open waste burning
Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) teams will check waste burning, blamed for rising air pollution levels in Gurgaon. People caught burning garbage may face a fine of Rs. 5,000 (around $80).
Singrauli coal hub to miss emissions deadline, gets first real-time AQ monitoring
Singrauli, a designated Critically Polluted Area (CPA) got its first real-time air quality monitoring network. Singrauli’s 10 power plants burn 2.5 lakh tonnes of coal daily. The thermal power hub is set to miss the 2018 deadline to cut emissions and to retrofit the plants. Singrauli residents are suffering from soars and rising cases of TB.
Indoor air pollution: Kill Kerosene subsidy, give it to clean cookstove makers
Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy said that the state should subsidize clean cookstove makers, as he felt that businesses in India were not focusing on clean energy. Experts say that indoor pollution caused by kerosene can be 10 times worse than outdoor air pollution. A 2017 report has said subsidies for kerosene are discouraging the poor from switching to solar.