The odd-even car rationing scheme is a formula for traffic management, and not a solution to Delhi's high level of pollution primarily due to dust and debris, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said. Her comments soon came after Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot announced that the car rationing scheme would be enforced in Delhi for a five-day period from November 13 after a spike in air pollution level.
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Pollution accounts for 16 per cent deaths all over the world. The data from World Health Organization's Global Burden of Disease Project shows that pollution kills 15 times more people than wars do.
The transport minister says that exemptions have been kept the same because the time is very limited and the government did not want any confusion regarding the exemptions. All CNG-driven vehicles (will need to produce certificate), electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, two-wheelers, vehicles driven by women (with only women passengers), vehicles driven by women (with children below the age of 12), those on the way to hospital for medical emergency (should carry proof), vehicles of physically challenged, emergency vehicles - Ambulance, fire, hospital, prison, hearse, enforcement vehicles, etc – will be exempted. Vehicles of VIPs will also not come under its ambit.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who said that only Centre can solve the crop burning issue, now says that he has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to convene a meeting of the CMs of all affected states as well as the union ministers. “Just my meeting with the Delhi CM will resolve nothing,” says Singh.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says the Centre, Harayna, Punjab and Delhi governments should come together to find a permanent solution to stubble burning, which leads to high pollution every year. Kejriwal says banning entry of trucks, construction activities and introducing odd-even is not the solution to high pollution level. "I have been seeking a meeting with both Haryana and Punjab chief ministers since yesterday, but I have not received any response," Kejriwal says.
UN officials say that just a car-rationing scheme or ban on firecrackers is not enough to tackle Delhi’s pollution and an “all-encompassing” approach is needed. "Environmental situations such as the current Delhi smog cannot be tackled just by addressing the issue of the number of cars or banning firecrackers. There has to be an all-encompassing approach," UN Resident Coordinator Yuri Afanasiev said on the sidelines of an event in the capital.
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PM10 and PM2.5 simply mean particulate matter 10 micrometers or less and 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, respectively.
Moradabad More Poisonous Than Delhi
While the nation is alarmed at the severe levels of pollution in Delhi, it turns out that Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad is currently facing a far worse air quality than the national capital. The industrial city has been engulfed in a thick blanket of poisonous haze for the past two days. On Tuesday, the city’s Air Quality Index touched 500, which is the highest that the scale can measure. This was on the same day when Delhi was experiencing its second day of smog cover, with an AQI of 478.
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This year, according to reports, 2,620 incidents of crop fire were spotted via satellite in Indian Punjab. In Pakistan, the number was limited to just 27.
Odd-even for five days from Monday
The odd-even car rationing scheme will be enforced in Delhi for a five-day period from November 13, city Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said today. The decision comes as air pollution levels spiked in the national capital. Under the policy, private vehicles are allowed to run based on the last number of their licence plates. Odd-numbered cars are allowed to run on odd dates while even-numbered cars can only run on even dates.
Need well-rounded approach to tackle pollution: UN official
Tackling environmental pollution, such as the haze that has enveloped Delhi, calls for an "all-encompassing approach" over and above measures such as a ban on firecrackers and controlling the volume of vehicles on the roads, a top UN official said. Air pollutant touched calamitous levels yesterday, as a thick grey smog hung low across the region, prompting the government to declare schools closed till Sunday, halt construction activity and ban the entry of trucks in the city. "Environmental situations such as the current Delhi smog cannot be tackled just by addressing the issue of the number of cars or banning firecrackers. There has to be an all- encompassing approach," UN Resident Coordinator Yuri Afanasiev said on the sidelines of an event here. "There is the issue of farmers (stubble burning) and plant emissions. And, even if one talks about reducing the volume of cars in the streets, there has to be a discussion on the quality of cars, whether they have catalytic converters. It has to be a well-rounded approach," he said.
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Calling it an "emergency situation", a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sanjeev Sachdeva asked the government to consider the option of "cloud seeding" to induce rainfall artificially, as an immediate step to bring down the dust and particulate matter in the atmosphere.
Delhi HC issues emergency directions to curb killer fog in Delhi
As the killer 'pea soup fog' continued to engulf the city, the Delhi High Court today issued a slew of directions to improve air quality, including watering of the roads to minimise dust. It directed the Delhi government to seriously consider a ban on further construction in the city to the extent possible and implementing the 'odd-even' vehicle usage scheme as a short term measure. The bench also ordered the Union Environment Secretary to hold a meeting in the next three days of the chief secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to work out a joint short-term plan to bring down air pollution.
Air purifiers sales rise as pollution heightens in Delhi NCR
Air purifiers manufacturers are witnessing a spike in sales in the Capital and adjoining areas as consumers resort to panic buying with air pollution in Delhi-NCR breaching critical limit. Air quality in Delhi-NCR has been at the season's worst for the last couple of days as a combined effect of smoke from stubble burning and moisture turned the region into a "gas chamber" leaving people gasping.
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On Tuesday morning, according to the US Embassy's air quality index, the city's PM2.5-a harmful air pollutant--read above 600.
I have sought meeting with the chief ministers of the neighbouring states. The Centre and the states need to work out a solution to this issue. Fining the farmer, isn’t the solution. Farmers are already under trouble. If everyone, central govt, UP, Punjab and Haryana government, come together and put aside politics a solution can be found: Arvind Kejriwal.
These shooting of PM levels is not because of Delhi but other factors are also to blame. Crop stubble burning is the main issue. On Wednesday, we had a meeting with LG Anil Baijal. We are ready to take whatever steps are required to be taken. But our neighbours should also cooperate. Until state governments don't find economically viable solutions to crop burning it will not stop, said CM Arvind Kejriwal.
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