Delhi air pollution still ‘severe’; ban on app-based cabs ordered; artificial rain to fight smog

Delhi Pollution is getting severe with each passing day and government has banned app-based cabs
Delhi Pollution is getting severe with each passing day and government has banned app-based cabs

The residents of Delhi woke up to another day of hazardous air as the air quality remained in the ‘severe’ category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Due to the deteriorating air quality, the Delhi government has rescheduled the December winter break for all schools. It will now be observed from November 9 to November 18.

In response to the ongoing issue of stubble burning, the Haryana government has taken strict actions, including issuing 1,256 challans, imposing fines exceeding ₹32 lakh, and filing 72 FIRs.

The mayor of Delhi, Shelly Oberoi, has highlighted open burning of garbage, construction waste dumping, and the use of tandoors in restaurants as major contributors to the increasing air pollution in the city.

Key updates on Delhi NCR air pollution:

– Anand Vihar recorded an AQI of 432, RK Puram at 453, Punjabi Bagh at 444, and ITO at 441 on Thursday morning.
– Ghaziabad reported an average AQI of 443, with PM2.5 levels significantly exceeding safe limits.
– Sector-51 in Gurugram also faced ‘severe’ air quality, with an AQI of 444.
– In an attempt to address the severe pollution issue, Delhi plans to induce rain for the first time. Experts have drafted a proposal for cloud seeding, which will be presented to the Supreme Court. China, Indonesia, and Malaysia have previously used this technique to induce rain. The artificial rain is scheduled for around November 20.

Delhi’s environment minister, Gopal Rai, has mentioned that the odd-even car rationing scheme will be implemented after a review by the Supreme Court. The transport department will ban app-based taxis in line with the Supreme Court’s orders, but the effective date will depend on the court’s detailed order.

The Haryana government reported that 90% of paddy harvesting has been completed, and measures to combat stubble burning are being intensified.

In Gautam Buddh Nagar, district authorities have instructed industries and builders to enhance anti-pollution measures. Construction activities are currently banned except for hospitals and the Noida International Airport in Jewar.