Misplaced priorities? India’s Union minister praises "green crackers" while giving WHO’s air pollution and health conference a miss. | Image credit:

Top court in India allows only ‘green crackers’ this Diwali

The Indian Supreme Court has allowed only green firecrackers this Diwali, banning the sale of old crackers in Delhi-NCR. No e-commerce website is allowed to sell firecrackers. According to Down to Earth: “Green crackers are safe water and air sprinklers that emit less sound and light. They also ensure a PM reduction of 30-35% and reduction in NOx and SO2 due to in-situ water generation acting as dust suppressant.”

Delhi breathes season’s worst air yet; Gurugram, Ghaziabad in ‘severe’ zone

Delhi witnessed the season’s worst air quality yet on Sunday (Air Quality Index: 366 µg/m3). The Central Pollution Control Board has asked people to not run and jog between November 1-10, predicting very high pollution during the period. The government’s air pollution research body, SAFAR, found stubble-burning contributing to 36% of Delhi’s pollution. Delhi state agencies are in ‘war mode’, as its air quality dropped from moderate (100-200 µg/m3)  to severe (401-500 µg/m3) within ten days beginning October 12, which is the start of crop residue burning season.

The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) chief, Bhure Lal, found open waste and plastic burning at hundreds of locations in Delhi-NCR.

 15-yr-old petrol, 10-yr-old diesel vehicles banned in Delhi, April 2020 deadline set for BSVI norms

India’s Supreme Court has banned 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi NCR – as their on-road emissions are far higher than those of newer vehicles. The court has also ruled that automakers will only be allowed to sell Bharat Stage (BS) VI emission standards-compliant vehicles in the country from April 1, 2020.

The Apex court rejected the government’s and automakers’ submissions to allow the latter grace periods beyond the date – despite automakers legally being allowed to manufacture BSIV-compliant vehicles till March 31, 2020.

India’s Delhi, Odisha, UP, MP in global toxic NO2 hotspots list

New satellite data analysed by international environmental watchdog Greenpeace says Delhi, Odisha and the Uttar Pradesh-Madhya Pradesh region are among the top 50 global hotspots for NO2 emissions (coal and vehicular emissions are the main sources of toxic NO2).

State in southern Indian to install air quality stations every 10km

Telangana will set up air quality monitoring stations every 10km to measure carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, suspended particulate matter (SPM) and ozone in the atmosphere round-the-clock.

Indian city may stop two- and four- wheeler registrations for 2 years

Karnataka plans to stop the registration of new two- and four-wheelers in Bengaluru for two years to curb congestion and retire vehicles that are 20 years old or more. The number of vehicles in the city are estimated to touch one crore or more in the next two years.

NTPC to use biomass to cut emissions

India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) will start biomass co-firing at all its coal-plants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.The objective is to reduce air pollution caused because of  burning of surplus agricultural residue by creating an alternate market for its large-scale use in power plants.

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