No Decision on Odd-Even Yet as Delhi Govt Ramps Up Anti-Pollution Drive With Anti-Smog Guns, Fines
As pollution level worsens in Delhi with the onset of winter, the state government has not taken any decision regarding the odd-even scheme.
“Odd-even scheme will only be implemented after analysing the situation, especially considering that economic activities were impacted during the lockdown,” sources in the state government said.
However the Delhi government has pepped up vigilance and measures to check pollution. Delhi's Environment Minister Gopal Rai says that the government has identified 13 hotspots which contribute to maximum pollution in the national capital. The government has set up a war room to give real time data on pollution.
“We have started anti-dust drive in the national capital and will regularly monitor all hotspots. We will ensure to reduce vehicular emissions and coordinate between states (Punjab and Haryana) to deal with the problem of stubble burning," Gopal Rai said.
Delhi government has also started spraying “Pusa bio-decomposer” solution to prevent stubble burning in non-basmati rice fields.
As per the recent orders, anti-smog gun installation is mandatory on sites which are larger than 20,000 sq meter. Officials said during inspection they have found 6 sites in Delhi with no anti-smog guns and imposed penalty on them.
Netaji Nagar site which is taken over by National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) was among those that did not have anti-smog gun. NBCC Officials said that they have paid the penalty of Rs 5 lakh to the government and that they have hired two anti-smog guns for the site now and hope to restart work from October 14.
The pollution level in the national capital have also risen as the farmers from neighbouring agricultural states have started stubble burning to clear their land after harvesting in order to prepare for the next crop season.
The government in order to check dust and smog have brought in air sprinkler tanks to clear it from trees, buildings and from construction sites. Pollutants from firecrackers during festive season and dust from construction sites also contribute to smog.
AAP government claims that pollution has been reduced by 25 per cent in Delhi in last 5 years. But there is an apprehension that contaminated air could make the coronavirus pandemic more dangerous. New Delhi has had about 2,85,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including around 5,500 fatalities.