Leaving is Not an Option! 6 Things Delhi Residents Must do Now to Fight Pollution – The Better India

According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) real-time data, which was analysed by the Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi’s average PM [particulate matter] 2.5 concentration between 16 February and 10 May 2022 was 100 micrograms per cubic metre. (Image above courtesy Shutterstock/PradeepGaurs)

This is more than two and a half times higher than the national annual safe limit for PM 2.5 of 40 micrograms per cubic metre. This is more than 20 times the World Health Organization’s (WHO) permissible limit of 5 micrograms per cubic metre. Despite recent rains, Delhi’s PM 2.5 concentration at 3 pm on 2 June stood at 170 micrograms per cubic metre.

We must find solutions to make Delhi’s air more breathable. Going sector by sector, here’s what policymakers and especially residents must do in the immediate and long term.

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Vehicles: Replacing Old With The New

Transport is among the largest sources of air pollution in Delhi. Multiple studies show varying figures for how much the transport sector contributes to Delhi’s polluted air, but the range lies between 20% to 40%. Within transport, some sources contribute more than others.

“Within this sector, there are primarily two sources—emissions from the vehicle itself and its contribution to re-circulating road dust, which contains vehicular exhaust, heavy metals, etc. If you look at any report, especially for PM 10, you’ll find that 50 to 60% is road dust. See, road dust by itself is not toxic. What makes road dust toxic is when it’s combined with other sources of emissions, especially fine particulate dust from vehicular emissions. In terms of exposure, it’s very dangerous because all of us use roads daily,” says Polash Mukerjee, Lead, Air Quality and Climate Resilience, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), to The Better India.

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As Polash explains, “The commercial vehicle segment, on a per-unit basis, contributes much more to pollution than privately-owned individual vehicles. This is purely down to the usage factor. On average, a private car will travel 20 to 30 km a day in Delhi as compared to a taxi, bus, truck or light commercial vehicle which may travel up to several hundred kilometres in the city. We also know that commercial vehicles, as a result of their higher usage, are not always as well maintained as private vehicles. Given the vehicle ownership patterns in India, their (commercial vehicles) average lives are much longer. This segment of vehicles within the transport sector contributes most to Delhi’s air pollution problem.”

This segment needs to be prioritised at the earliest. Within the transport sector, there are a couple of ways to reduce the overall contribution to pollution—make each vehicle more efficient, and cleaner, reduce their pollution output, and lessen the number of individual vehicles running in Delhi-NCR.

Cleaning the road dust to prevent air pollution in Delhi
A municipal truck uses anti smog gun to spray water on the road for dust suppression. (Image courtesy Shutterstock/PradeepGaurs)

A large factor to consider here is the Bharat Standard (BS) III, IV, V and VI emission standards for Internal Combustion(IC)-engine vehicles. These are government-instituted emission standards (updated every few years) that all motor vehicles have to comply with if they are to be sold and driven.

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“We are focussing on these emission standards and their generations because there is a huge difference between a BS-IV and BS-VI vehicle. From BS IV to BS VI for a commercial diesel vehicle, the particulate matter generation per unit/km goes down up to 90%. It’s the same thing across the board for other lubricants,” explains Polash.

Polash notes that introducing BS-VI norms has rendered the Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate regime obsolete. BS-VI has more stringent emission reductions in PM 2.5, sulphur, and NOx compared to BS-IV. More importantly, the BS-VI standards emphasise the overall health of the vehicle. Onboard Diagnostics (OBD) has been made compulsory for all vehicles.

In newer vehicles, a check engine light is actually connected to the OBD indicator. With the OBD-based mechanism, the vehicle will be connected to a computer, and there is a diagnostic mechanism to check whether all its components are functioning properly or not. Through this mechanism, a fitness report of your vehicle will be generated.

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“The system is now transitioning to a more centralised and automated testing mechanism. There will be a gradual transition to mandatory fitness testing for all vehicles. Unlike the PUC system, this will be a thorough check of its components including the functioning of various parts, emission control systems on board, amongst others,” says Polash.

“Unfortunately, there are only three or four such centres in the Delhi-NCR region. At a national level, we barely have about 10-12 such centres, of which 3 or 4 are in Delhi. One of the biggest centres in Delhi can process about five vehicles simultaneously per day.”

To fulfil Delhi’s needs, massive human resources or technology is needed.

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On the ground, when the traffic police catch a vehicle emitting black smoke, all they have to go by is the PUC certificate. For all you know, that certificate could be fake. The traffic police department could implement a hand-held OBD reader that tells cops whether the vehicle’s systems are performing at an optimal level.

Cutting a challan for air pollution violation in Delhi
A Delhi government volunteer checking pollution certificate and making challan at petrol pump (Image courtesy Shutterstock/PradeepGaurs)

Meanwhile, as individual car and bike owners, you could take steps like servicing your vehicle regularly and avoid buying aftermarket parts like exhausts that bypass emission control systems.

You can also make more effective choices when picking the next vehicle to buy. Modern vehicles are better than older ones, and now you have electric vehicles to choose from as well. On average, a car is used for 8 to 10 years in India. So, one good choice in vehicles can impact pollution levels over 8 to 10 years.

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Meanwhile, on a policy level, the Central and State/local governments can immediately take commercial vehicles that adhere to older emission standards like BS II, III and IV off the roads as soon as possible. Low emission alternatives like EVs should replace them, but even a BS-VI would be a much better option than these old vehicles. This should be the top priority.

Segregate Your Waste!

According to Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, a Delhi-based non-profit, there were 11 landfill fires reported between 2017 and 2021. This year we have witnessed a further two fires, with the latest one in the Bhalswa landfill lasting for more than a week.

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Why do these landfills catch fire? It all begins when organic (wet or kitchen waste) is irresponsibly dumped into a landfill, which starts putrefying. This generates methane, a toxic gas which combusts and results in what Bharathi Chaturvedi, the Founder and Director of Chintan, calls a “hot, transparent fire” in a recent column for The Quint. As this explainer by Chintan notes, “Inefficient waste management through landfills and biomass burning creates methane, a climate-damaging, highly combustible gas that ignites fires that spew particulate matter.”

Likely emissions from such fires also include dioxins, which rank among the most toxic human-made chemicals. Once again, the type of emissions depends on what catches fire, including volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, acids, etc. However, what consistently happens is that emissions generated by these fires poison the lives of people living in the vicinity of landfills and the rest of Delhi-NCR, depending on wind speed and direction.

As per the Solid Waste Management Bylaws for Delhi, notified in 2018, the onus of waste segregation into wet waste, dry waste and domestic hazardous waste was on individual households who generate it. Those found not complying are liable to pay a fine of Rs 200. However, according to a 2021-21 Economic Survey of Delhi, barely 32% of the city’s wards engage in waste segregation at the source. The law is clear on landfills. Only inert waste can be dumped in it, but the reality on the ground is much different.

While institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, which sends less than 10% of their waste to landfills, and areas like Palam where residents engage in segregating their waste and home composting, have set good examples, these are too few and far between. In her column, Bharathi argued that “less than 20 per cent” of the waste generated in a given ward should be allowed to leave.

This has to change because they are damaging their health and those of residents living near these landfills like waste pickers. When dumps in places like Ghazipur or Okhla catch fire, they suffer from acrid smoke and breath in all that poison directly.

What are the solutions to lessening the size of our landfills and ensuring that they don’t catch fire? As Bharathi notes, ideally, neighbourhoods or colonies should collectively manage all their organic waste, decentralise the process of waste management, and should receive a subsidy from the municipality that can be pegged to their property tax rate or some other metric.

Landfill fire adds to Delhi's air pollution problems
Firefighters at the Ghazipur landfill site (Image courtesy Shutterstock/PradeepGaurs)

Of course, the subsidy amount can lessen as we move into wealthier neighbourhoods, and such schemes should also include unrecognised or ‘unauthorised’ slums. On the other hand, it’s true that no neighbourhood can absorb everything that it composts. For this, the Delhi government or municipal corporations could establish a ‘buy-back’ programme of sorts where they can buy the compost generated at pre-agreed quantities and fixed rates.

The idea here is to encourage people to change their behaviour and incentivise them to compost organic waste, including leaves. Assisting this process, you also need fruit and vegetable markets (mandis) in the city that require assistance in “closing the loop” by further “consolidating their existing linkages with cow sheds (gaushalas) and via composting.”

Delhi residents also have to lessen the use of plastic in everyday life, especially when buying groceries and other items. Certain stakeholders have posited that waste-to-energy (WTE) plants (burning plastic and other waste) present a more eco-friendly alternative to landfills. This is simply not the case given the lack of safety, inefficiency and high amount of pollution generated by these WTEs given how we put mixed waste, including organic waste, into these plants.

Another solution is bioremediation, “a process that uses mainly microorganisms, plants, or microbial or plant enzymes to detoxify contaminants in the soil and other environments”, and biomining (an eco-friendly “technique of extracting metals from ores” and “other solid materials like waste using microorganisms”) of landfills, besides methane and leachate management.

Media reports indicate that the Ghazipur landfill site in east Delhi has legacy waste amounting to 140 lakh metric tonnes. Given the municipality processes about 4 lakh tonnes of waste per year through processes like biomining, it could take more than three decades to process it.

There are question marks about whether our municipalities are up to the task. A possible solution to enhancing capacity is greater coordination between the municipalities, State government and the Central government, and the formulation of a coherent and strategic plan to introduce systemic change. But solid waste management is one area where individual responsibility can go a long way in determining larger outcomes.

Finally, as residents, you can and must report those flouting the rules while also assisting those who can’t help themselves. As this Chintan explainer notes, “For example, if your neighbourhood security guard has to burn waste on a winter night, help get a better watch booth, warm clothes and an electric ‘hot water bottle’.”

Be Smarter in Consuming Electricity

In 2015, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) introduced a notification directing coal-based thermal power plants (TPP) to comply with stringent emission norms. This was the first notification which asked power plants to regulate emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of Nitrogen (NOx). Before this 2015 MoEF notification, India only had PM (particulate matter) emission standards that were very relaxed.

The deadline to meet these 2015 standards was initially set as December 2017. Since then, there has been a constant push from the power sector to delay the deadline. Eventually, the deadline for power plants in the vicinity of the Delhi-NCR to meet these stringent norms was pushed to 2019, but only one of them followed through. The rest were given another extension till 2022, but the Ministry of Power has sought a further extension of another two years.

“Technically, there are 12 power plants within an approximately 300 km radius of Delhi. Of the 12, only the Mahatma Gandhi Super Thermal Power Project in Jhajjar, Haryana, owned by the CLP Group, has installed pollution control devices. Whether these devices are being operated or not remains a question. A couple of units have done the same in the Dadri Power Plant, Uttar Pradesh, which NTPC owns. Otherwise, none of the other power plants has installed flue gas desulfurisation (FGD) units which are a set of technologies used to remove sulphur dioxide from exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuel power plants,” says Sunil Dahiya, an analyst with the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), to The Better India.

The contribution of thermal power plants to Delhi’s air pollution varies daily because of winds and the capacity at which they are operating. That contribution varies from 4% to up to 25% on certain winter days when the wind is coming into Delhi from the Haryana-Punjab side where most of the power plants are located.

Thermal power plants also contribute to the Delhi air pollution problem
Thermal power plant: For representational purposes only (Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

“One of the main findings of the 2021 CREA report on coal-based power is that there will be 218 calculated deaths annually in Delhi because of the operation of these 12 power plants. Also, if you consider the broader Delhi-NCR districts, it will be 682 deaths annually. Also, this pollution doesn’t subside or settle down within this 300 km radius and travels to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and even West Bengal. If we can take into account all these regions, there will be 4,800 deaths annually as a result of these 12 power plants remaining operational,” claims Sunil.

To understand the importance of installing pollution control devices, he highlights the difference between the TPP in Jhajjar and Talwandi, Punjab, which also supplies power to Delhi. “The one in Jhajjar, which has the SO2 emission control system in place, the emission of SO2 per unit of electricity generated was about 0.75 gm. The Talwandi power plant in Mansa district was emitting 5.13 gm of SO2 per kWh—eight times the SO2 emission,” he adds.

We talk about SO2 more prominently because this reacts with other pollutants in the atmosphere and forms a significant part of secondary PM 2.5 emissions. The total pollution emission load from a thermal power plant happens in the form of NOx, SO2 and PM 2.5.

“If we calculate the total PM 2.5 emissions, both primary and secondary, then we find that about 96% of the total PM 2.5 contributed by the power plants is because of secondary PM 2.5. If you’re just controlling particulate matter from a power plant that may not make much of a difference. But controlling the SO2 and NOx emissions will make a real difference because they contribute 96% of the total PM 2.5 load emitted by the power plants,” says Sunil.

Is Delhi getting its electricity only from these 12 thermal power plants? No, the city also gets its electricity from power plants in Madhya Pradesh and other states as well. If we have to clean Delhi’s electricity supply chain, we will have to talk about power plants beyond Delhi-NCR.

When it comes to regulating emissions, the responsibility lies with the given State pollution control board. All these state pollution boards come under the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Since pollution is not a state subject and pollution travels to different states, the CPCB has authority over these State pollution control boards, can issue directions to them and most of the emission norms are tracked or regulated by the CPCB at the Central level.

“The Ministry of Power and Central Electricity Authority (CEA) can play a role in ensuring that these power plants retrofit devices to control pollution. But in the last seven years, we have seen that rather than playing a facilitator role to ensure the implementation of pollution regulation norms, they have always sided with power plants in asking for extensions and delays. At a policy level, we need to ensure that those 2015 norms are implemented as soon as possible without further delay,” he says.

Meanwhile, what can residents of Delhi do in terms of changing their electricity consumption patterns? There are households, government buildings, metro stations, railway stations, and many other public spaces that can install rooftop solar panels. Once they install decentralised solar energy, their dependency on the central grid, where 75-80% of electricity comes from coal, will reduce.

For the story: Rooftop solar can help Delhi contain its air pollution problem
Rooftop Solar Panel

Another solution is to monitor how much electricity they are consuming. In Delhi, some residents might already be doing it. After all, if you consume more than 200 units a month, you’ll be charged. If your consumption is below 200 units, you’ll get free electricity. Not everyone knows how much electricity they are consuming, and thus there is a lot of wastage that goes into lighting, cooling, water pumping, etc. Residents must do better not to waste electricity.

Also, buildings in Delhi-NCR need to be constructed in a way where they need minimum external heating or cooling and are energy efficient. “This will require a reform of building construction norms and codes. Energy-saving and changes to your lifestyle at the individual household level, besides the transition to renewable energy, will help reduce the burning of coal in Delhi-NCR or elsewhere, and thus reduce pollution levels,” he adds.

Construction Industry

When it comes to the construction industry, the main source of pollution is the re-suspension of dust. This is construction dust, which may contain cement particles, metals, debris from demolition and those kinds of elements as well. This is particularly toxic to those working on the construction site and also contributes to wider ambient particulate matter levels. Some reports estimate that construction dust contributes as high as 30% to Delhi’s pollution.

There is also a secondary source of pollution emanating from the construction industry. Many of the informal construction workers, especially women and younger children, are exposed to a secondary source by burning solid fuel in their makeshift campsites. They live in makeshift camps close to construction sites and use the cheapest available fuel, often firewood. If you talk about wider sources of air pollution at a national level, then these solid fuels come up very high in the list of contributors.

In Delhi, for large construction sites above 20,000 square feet, the state government has to ensure compliance. Anything less than 20,000 square feet it’s the municipal corporation’s responsibility. Other experts contend that neither bodies have an adequate workforce nor have they developed any mechanism to ensure compliance.

Polash recommends using low-cost sensors that can be used as an effective tool for real-time air quality measurement on construction sites. But how can we ensure compliance?

“When you start a construction project, among the many permits required, you need the consent of the concerned pollution control board or the municipal corporation. The conditions of that consent should include this clause of self-monitoring and self-reporting. In other words, the onus of compliance here is on the polluter and not the regulator,” he notes.

On the individual level, mechanisms for citizen reporting need to be strengthened. In a city like Delhi, you see many smaller construction projects. Many of them leave loose sand dumped on the pavement or facilitate the movement of trucks without covering the material or debris.

As per the rules, any large construction site should have dust barriers in the form of tall or thin metal sheets or a green net structure. On a material level, the rules are specified as all construction material, including the debris from demolition, should be covered while in storage and during transportation. Similarly, any movement of vehicles, especially trucks carrying material, has to be done while it’s covered. When a truck is leaving the site, the truck body and wheels, covered in dirt and dust, have to be washed off before it exits and when it enters. Right now, a lot of these violations go unseen.

Construction dust causes air pollution
(Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Moving away from Diesel-powered Gensets

Diesel emissions are highly toxic. Diesel emissions have been categorised as a Type 1 carcinogen by the WHO, which means they are proven to be cancer-causing emissions.

“There are large users in Delhi-NCR that use diesel gensets regularly like large factories, commercial establishments, hospitals, apartment complexes, etc. Why would anyone use diesel gensets if they have a stable electricity connection? Industries often use this to keep their electricity generation off the books. They can show lower production and escape the tax net. Also, larger diesel gensets can utilise dirtier fuels like furnace oil. Diesel is a fairly refined fuel, relatively speaking. Other fuels are dirtier, less refined, and cheaper to use,” says Polash.

But sometimes, these diesel gensets are categorised as essential requirements. For instance, in a high rise building or a large hospital, you need to have the lift connected to a genset because it’s a matter of safety. The solution here is two-fold:

1) Demand reduction: You reduce the demand for diesel gensets by shoring up the electricity supply and ensuring fewer cuts.

2) Modernise your genset technologies: It’s imperative to make them more efficient and move away from diesel-based generators to more renewable alternatives. Both of these things have happened in Delhi-NCR to some extent.

“Earlier this year, the environment ministry issued a new set of emission standards for diesel gensets. But the implementation timeline for this is still some years away. Fortunately, in Delhi, there is a slow movement toward natural gas and LPG-based gensets. Also, renewable energy like solar is also an option. I recommend that at least old diesel gensets from the 1980s and 90s need to be replaced by newer technology. But the most effective solution is to ensure a regular supply of electricity. This is just a matter of governance,” he adds.

Air Quality Governance

The problems of industrial air pollution, seasonal causes like stubble burning in Punjab, firecrackers, brick kilns, etc., require addressal at a policy level through air quality governance.

Delhi has the DPCC (Delhi Pollution Control Committee), a state-level body. There are also the state pollution control boards of NCR states (Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan) and Punjab. Above these bodies, you have the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

“What Delhi-NCR lacked for many years was something that brings all these different stakeholders to the same table. CPCB is supposed to be donning that role, but it hasn’t done so for a long time. Post-2019, the National Clean Air Programme was introduced and that has brought in a fresh approach to air pollution, but even that makes the city the only point of action on air pollution. Curiously, for a long time, Delhi was not included in the NCAP,” says Polash.

Towering above them all is the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM). Set up in 2019, this commission was set up by the Government of India and the Supreme Court. It is technically on par with bodies like the Finance Commission, which was created by an act of Parliament. “This body has the authority to pull up the Central Government on paper. The role of this commission is to be an apex nodal authority for air quality in the Delhi-NCR region. Ultimately, the buck stops here in terms of air quality governance,” he notes.

However, a better structure would empower State pollution control boards and the CPCB to make decisions without political interference. We need to create a better institutional structure for the functioning of these bodies. Take the example of the United States EPA or the California Air Resources Board which are largely autonomous and independent bodies.

“Although institutions like the EPA consult all manner of stakeholders, its final decision is relatively free of political interference, which is not the case in India. Here, state pollution control boards are very often caught up in politics. They don’t have a free hand as regulators. This is a crucial bit here because very often, the individuals in these bodies are technically sound and have the wherewithal to act, but they aren’t really decision-makers. They’re following orders from the top. Also, these bodies suffer from a serious shortage of staffing,” explains Polash.

Also, for air quality, the template in countries abroad is to manage it in terms of air quality management district. This is usually an airshed where you establish the influence of emission sources in that particular thing. For instance, crop burning in Punjab influences air quality in not just Delhi but also downhill. Ideally, this should comprise one air quality management zone right from Punjab to Haryana, Delhi and parts of Western Uttar Pradesh.

“There is a need to integrate some of these policies across political boundaries and that’s where an organisation like a CAQM comes in. They have the authority to make these different states sit at the same table, talk eye to eye and build on a coherent policy,” he says.

(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)

Additional Sources:

‘Why reducing size of Delhi’s garbage mountains is easier said than done’ by Abhinaya Harigovind and Abhinav Rajput; Published on 5 May 2022 courtesy The Indian Express

Health and Economic Impacts of Unabated Coal Power Generation in Delhi-NCR’ by Centre for Research of Energy and Clean Air; Published on 22 March 2021

‘As Delhi Recovers From Landfill Fire, How to Stop Breathing and Eating Our Trash’ by Bharati Chaturvedi; Published on 10 April 2022 courtesy The Quint

‘Things You Can Do To Prevent Air Pollution’ courtesy Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group

‘At a Glance: WASTE AND AIR POLLUTION’ courtesy Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group

‘Air Pollution in India: Frequently Asked Questions’ courtesy Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group

‘Rain shortfall has kept Delhi’s air ‘poor’ for most of summer’ by Jasjeev Gandhiok; Published on 12 May 2022 courtesy Hindustan Times

Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us: contact@thebetterindia.com, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

What happened to Modi’s national ‘clean air’ project? Not much in three years – Newslaundry

These cities have been divided in two groups: 90 funded by NCAP and 42 million-plus agglomerations or cities under the 15th Finance Commission. According to a government reply in the Lok Sabha in December last year, the central government has allocated Rs 375 crore for 90 cities under NCAP so far and Rs 4,400 crore for the rest under the 15th Finance Commission in 2020-21.

Notably, budgetary allocation was linked to cities’ performance at a later stage by the MoEFCC, which had not suggested any such arrangement in the original plan.

However, Newslaundry analysed an environment ministry report for April and found very low utilisation of funds under NCAP. Punjab, a state infamous for polluting the Indo-Gangetic airshed during winter harvest season, has used just five percent of its Rs 27.5 crore funds under NCAP, followed by Assam’s 11 percent of Rs 12.36 crore and Haryana’s 25 percent of Rs 24 crore. Nagaland, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh are the only five states that claimed 100 percent utilisation for 2019-21. The percentage for other states hovers between 50 and 75, except Chhattisgarh’s 92 percent and Bihar’s 90 percent.

In its latest steering committee report, the environment ministry has tweaked the targets for 90 NCAP cities: increasing the range from 20 to 30 percent in the original plan to 20 to 45 percent and the timeline from 2024 to 2025-2026.

But the ministry official quoted above said the original NCAP targets remained unchanged. When asked about the tweaked targets in the new report, he said: “It [the table] might have got captured.”

Newslaundry‘s questionnaire – on whether the original NCAP targets have been revised – sent to ministry secretary Leena Nandan and CPCB member secretary Prashant Gargava remained unanswered. This report shall be updated if a response is received.

Checking pollution in these cities

The economic and human costs of living in a country whose cities are perennially polluted are greater.

Newslaundry analysed PM levels of 130 of these 132 cities between 2017 and 2020 through data compiled by NCAP Tracker – an online hub tracking the programme’s progress – and found an increase in airborne particles in 22 cities while 27 recorded a decrease by as much as up to 10 percent.

However, it may be noted that pollutants had seen a drastic dip during the Covid-induced lockdowns in 2020. According to Urban Emissions, a research group, air pollution levels had dropped by 20 to 60 percent during lockdown periods.

“The reduction in pollution is quite minimal. The end result is still not there. It might seem that the glass is half full but we are still a long distance from achieving the clean air goal, which is what the NCAP was supposed to achieve by 2024…only two years remain. If the situation remains the same, pollution levels might instead increase by five to 10 percent,” said Aarti Khosla, director of Climate Trends, a strategic communications and capacity building initiative on climate change and environment.

Tripathi said NCAP has laid the groundwork despite the hurdles. “Globally, people have dealt with pollution in 20-30 years. What NCAP has done is to create a good framework. If it is followed by states, it will give good results.”

Meanwhile, Bhargav Krishna, fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, a Delhi-based think tank, said until the studies are completed, cities can focus on common sources of pollution such as construction dust and waste burning.

OZONE ALERT! Toxic ozone is spreading in an unprecedented manner this summer, says CSE's new analysis – Centre for Science and Environment

  • Geographical spread and frequency of ozone exceedance much higher this summer in Delhi-NCR. Mumbai second most impacted metro
  • On an average, 16 stations in Delhi-NCR exceeded the standard daily in March-April – a 33 per cent rise from previous year. New Delhi and south Delhi neighborhoods worst affected
  • Hourly peak levels up by 23 per cent compared to lockdown times
  • Ozone a highly reactive gas, adversely affect people with respiratory ailments and asthma; not directly emitted from any source, but created from reaction of other gases under the influence of sunlight
  • Clean air action needs multi-pollutant approach to drastically cut emissions of precursor gases from vehicles and industrial stacks to control the emerging threat of ozone pollution 

Access the complete CSE analyses here:

Access the proceedings of CSE’s webinar on the subject click here

New Delhi, June 3, 2022:The summer of 2022 — one of the hottest in history — has witnessed widespread ozone exceedance, making the air of Delhi-NCR more toxic, says a latest analysis released here today by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). While higher number of hot days usually record ozone levels exceeding the standards, this summer the spread of stations is much wider across the landscape. 

Among the six big metros, Mumbai is second in order followed by Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru – the last two have longer durations of exceedance despite lower frequency compared to the other metros. This has emerged from the latest air quality analysis by CSE, released as a run-up to the World Environment Day. This is part of the air quality tracker initiative of the Urban Lab at CSE. 

“Even before we could control the problem of particulate pollution, the toxic threat of ground-level ozone is catching up with us. Despite the warning signs, this problem has not attracted adequate policy or public attention for mitigation and prevention. Inadequate monitoring, limited data and inappropriate methods of trend analysis have weakened the understanding of this growing toxic risk,” says Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, CSE. “If not addressed early, it can blow up as a serious health crisis in the coming years,” she adds. 

Health evidence is also growing stronger. The 2020 State of Global Air report states that age-standardised rates of death attributable to ozone is among the highest in India. The seasonal eight-hour daily maximum concentrations have recorded one of the highest increases in India between 2010 and 2017– about 17 per cent. This requires deeper understanding of what is going on in different cities and regions to inform mitigation. 

Due to the very toxic nature of ground-level ozone, the national ambient air quality standard for ozone has been set for only short-term exposures (one-hour and eight-hour averages), and compliance is measured by the number of days that exceed the standards. Compliance requires that the standards are met for 98 per cent of the time of the year. It may exceed the limits on two per cent of the days in a year, but not on two consecutive days of monitoring. In other words, there should not be more than eight days in a year when the ozone standard is breeched, and none of those allowed exceedances can be on two consecutive days. 

“Global experience shows that there is usually a trade-off. As particulate pollution is reduced, the problem of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and ozone increases. Globally, regulators are tightening the regulatory benchmark for ozone to address the toxic threat which, given its complex chemistry, is difficult to address. India should avoid falling into this trap,” says Vivek Chattopadhayay, principal programme manager, clean air programme, CSE.  

“The standard practice of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to average out the data of all stations in the city to determine daily AQI does not work for ground-level ozone as it is a short-lived and hyper-localised pollutant. A citywide average concentration level over an extended time frame does not indicate the severity of the problem and health implicationfrom local build up and exposure for people living in hotspots,” says Avikal Somvanshi, senior programme manager,urban lab, CSE. 

Why does ozone need special attention?
Thecomplex chemistry of ozone makes it a difficult pollutant to track and mitigate. Ground-level ambient ozone is not directly emitted from any source. It is produced from complex interactions between NOx and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are emitted from vehicles, power plants, factories, and other combustion sources.These undergo cyclic reactions in the presence of sunlight to generate ground-level ozone. VOCs can also be emitted from natural sources, such as plants. Ozone not only builds up in cities but also drifts long distances to form a regional pollutant that makes both local and regional action necessary. 

This highly reactive gas has serious health consequences. Those with respiratory conditions, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and particularly children with premature lungs and older adults are at serious risk. This can inflame and damage airways, make lungs susceptible to infection, aggravate asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis and increase the frequency of asthma attacks leading to increased hospitalisation. 

The investigation
This assessment has traced trends during summer (March-May) between 2019 to 2022 May (upto May 30). The analysis is based on publicly available granular real time data (15-minute averages) from the CPCB’s official online portal Central Control Room for Air Quality Management. In Delhi-NCR, the data has been captured from 58 official stations under the Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring System (CAAQMS) spread across Delhi-NCR. Delhi (40), Gurugram (4), Faridabad (4), Noida (4), Ghaziabad (4), and Greater Noida (2) have multiple stations and are covered in the study. 

Given the volatile and highly localised nature of ozone pollution build-up and its variability across space, and consistent with the global good practice, this analysis has considered station level trends in terms of number of days exceeding the eight-hour standard over time. As ozone formation depends on complex atmospheric chemistry and on photochemical reaction its level varies across time and space horizon. Meteorological parameters such as sunny and warm weather, stagnant wind patterns etc have bearing on its formation. 

This analysis tracks exceedances at each station in a city. Breach of the standard by even one station in the city is considered exceedance by the city. Days with multiple stations exceeding the standard indicates the severity of the spatial spread and number of people exposed. Given that the data is capped at 200 microgramme per cubic metre(µg/m3) by the CPCB, it is not possible to determine how high the concentration really goes. 

This has considered global good practice and taken on board the USEPA approach of computing eight-hour averages for a day and then checking for the maximum value among them to capture the daily ozone pollution level. USEPA assesses city-wide or regional AQI based on highest value recorded among all city stations. Thus, trends have been calculated in terms of number of days when the daily level has exceeded the 8-hr standard (referred as exceedance days hereafter). A simple city-wide spatial averaging has not been considered for the trend analysis though it has been assessed. 

While analysing the data, it has also been noted that the ozone data available on CPCB portal never exceeds 200μg/m3, while data for the corresponding time on Delhi Pollution Control Committee may show higher levels. Therefore, due to this capping of data it is not possible to understand the nature of peaking in the city. This needs to be addressed as there are two sets of standards for ozone – eight-hourly standard of 100μg/m3 and one-hourly standard of 180 μg/m3. Capping can make assessment of one-hourly standard challenging. This study has assessed trends only based on the eight-hourly standard. 

Delhi-NCR: Key highlights of the analysis 
Heatwaves advanced the geographical spread of ground-level ozone: This year due to early onslaught of heatwaves the spatial spread of ground-level ozone started in March itself with April being the worst so far.The dangerous build-up of ground-level ozone can happen anytime during the year, but it is usually in small pockets. For it to have wider spatial spread hot and sunny weather conditions are needed which are generally present in summer, especially during May. But this year the frequency and spread of ozone exceedance started early — in the month of March. 

Geographical spread of ground-level ozone pollution in Delhi-NCR during March-April highest in past four years: Ground-level ozone usually exceeds the safety standard on all days of summer in some location in Delhi-NCR every year. But this year the spatial spread (number of stations exceeding the standard across the city) has been much higher this year. On an average 16 stations have exceeded the standard daily this March and April, which is 33 per cent increase from previous year March and April. During 2020 when lockdowns had reduced the precursor gases needed for formation of ground-level ozone, the number was down to 10 stations daily. 

Even though, the spatial spread of ground-level ozone has significantly increased this summer, its duration has reduced slightly. This summer, daily on an average the rolling eight-hour average stayed above standard for 4.4 hours, which is marginally down from 4.6 hours observed last year and five hours recorded during 2020 summer. Longer duration during 2020 summer was due to pandemic lockdowns which reduced evening traffic therefore lesser NO2 in the evening air which is critical for breaking down of ground-level ozone after sunset.  

New Delhi and south Delhi neighborhoods are worst affected by ground-level ozone pollution: Dr KS Shooting Range in south Delhi is the most chronically affected in Delhi-NCR. It has exceeded the standard in this location for 85 days this March-May. It is followed by JLN Stadium, RK Puram and Nehru Nagar in New Delhi as the worst polluted. Greater Noida is the major hotspot outside Delhi. Faridabad has least instances of ground-level ozone exceedances in the region.. 

East and central Delhi are facing worsening trend: Patparganj in East Delhi registered highest increase in number of days exceeding the standard compared to the average of last three years. It registered a dramatic jump of 68 additional days with exceedance. It was followed by Noida’s Sector 116 and Mandir Marg, next to the President’s Estate. 

Siri Fort and Bawana in Delhi registered the most reduction in fequency of exceedances compared to average of previous three years. Their exceedances were down by over 40 days this year. Gurugram Sector 51, Dwarka Sector 8, and Najafgarh were other locations with the maximum improvenment. 

Ground-level ozone hotspots are located in the areas with low levels of NO2 and PM2.5: The spatial distribution of ground-level ozone is inverse to NO2 and PM2.5. Nehru Nagar and JLN Stadium in New Delhi are exceptions to this phenomena as both stations report high NO2as well as ground-level ozone. Likewise, industrial areas of Mundaka and Burari Crossing report concurrent high PM2.5 and ground-level ozone. This bears out the fact that while ozone is created in polluted areas with nitrogen oxide being the catalyst, it also gets mopped up in high NO2 areas as it further reacts. But the ozone that escapes to cleaner areas with less NO2 builds up faster as it cannot react further with NO2 adequately to dissipate. 

Hourly ozone peak levels are up by 23 per cent compared to lockdown times: Compared to summer of 2020 ground-level ozone is not lingering in the air post sunset but the hourly peak this year is on an average 23 per cent. The re-emergence of morning and evening rush-hour traffic is helping in neutralising ground-level ozone at sunrise and sunset as increased NO2 levels cannibalise it. But presence of higher concentration of NO2 is leading to higher ozone concentration during the afternoon. Theeight-hour average at Knowledge Park III in Greater Noida and Nehru Nagar in Delhi recorded close to 190 µg/m3.

Night-time ground-level ozone continues to persist: Ground-level ozone should ideally become negligible in the night air, but Delhi-NCR has been witnessing a rare phenomenon where ozone levels remain elevated hours after sunset. This was found to be very wide-spread during the lockdowns of 2020 summers and it continues to linger this summer as well. This May night-time ozone was noted on 28 days with seven stations (on an average) reporting it. Night-time ozone has been considered when hourly concentration has exceededthe level 100 µg/m3 between 10PM and 2AM at any station. Night-time ozone is mostly found in industrial areas which generally donot report high day-time ozone. Mundka in Delhi, Loni and Vasundhara in Ghaziabad and Knowledge Park III in Greater Noida have reported most instances of night-time ozone. 

Ground-level ozone has become a year-long problem: Even though the ozone exceedance is seen to worsen during summer months, it remains a year-long problem as at least few locations continue to record exceedance throughout the year. There have been only six days this year so far that have registered no exceedance among any air quality monitoring stations of Delhi-NCR. There were 15 days of no exceedance last year during the same period (Jan-May). Similarly, 2020 and 2019 had 24 days and 24 days of no exceedance respectively. Foggy and cold conditions of January conventionally inhibit formation of ground-level ozone but ozone was found to be exceeding at multiple stations on 28 days this January. It is up from 11 days and 19 days recorded in January of 2020 and 2021 respectively. Even the months of monsoon records exceedance in some locations. 

During the summer of 2022 all key pollutants have increased in Delhi-NCR: It is not just ground-level ozone pollution that has increased this summer compared to previous summers, significant increase has been noted in PM2.5 and NO2 as well. Compared to summer of 2020, NO2 is up by 61 per cent and PM2.5 by 76 per cent. 

Ozone peril in other five big metropolitan cities
After Delhi-NCR that recorded ozone exceedance on almost all days of this summer, Mumbai with 75 days of exceedance was the second most impacted metro. Kolkata-Howrah and Hyderabad registered 43 days of exceedance each. Even though the number of exceedance days in Kolkata-Howrah has been lower than that of Mumbai, its citywide concentration is 30 per cent higher than in Mumbai for this summer season. The denser network of monitoring stations in Mumbai is able to catch instances of ozone exceedance better. Greater Mumbai has 26 monitoring stations while Greater Kolkata has only 10 stations. 

It must also be noted that apart from Delhi all the other metros in western, southern and eastern regions have reported higher instances of ozone exceedance in winter than summer. These regions also have warmer winters. In most of these cities ozone is recording exceedance round the year.  

It has been noted that Chennai and Bengaluru have longer durations of exceedance despite lower frequency compared to other metros.

Act now
Ozone mitigation demands stringent control of gases from all combustion sources including vehicles, industry, power plants and open burning in the entire region. It is therefore necessary that while designing mitigation of particulate matter the key focus of action strategy today, is also calibrated for reduction of ozone precursor gases. 

Immediately, refine the action strategy for combined control of particulate pollution, ozone and its precursor gases like NOx to maximise the co-benefits of the action plan. At the national level, the National Clean Air Programme needs to propose specific measures to control ozone precursor gases including NOx, volatile organic compound, carbon monoxide etc that are emitted largely from vehicles and industry. 

Simultaneously develop a robust public information and dissemination system to alert public about ozone exceedance wherever ozone build-up is happening for exposure management. 

For more details, interviews etc, please contact Sukanya Nair of The CSE Media Resource Centre for the Global South: sukanya.nair@cseindia.org, 8816818864.

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Admin Finalizes Sites For Installation Of Nine Fountains In … – MENAFN.COM

(MENAFN– Kashmir Observer)

Srinagar- The Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Mohammad Aijaz Asad on Monday undertook a tour of several City areas to inspect the pace and progress of various ongoing major Developmental projects. He also took stock of implementation of the directions of the Lieutenant Governor regarding resolving public grievances.

After field visits to different areas, DC finalised the action plan for construction of fountains at nine locations under the National Clean Air Programme.

With regard to the measures undertaken for the beautification of Srinagar City, he visited SMHS Crossing Kak Sarie, Soura and Hawal areas of the district and inspected the locations identified for the construction of Water Fountains at SMHS Crossing Kak Sarie, main Chowk Soura and Mirza Kamil Chowk Hawal.

“Installation of fountains at important heavy traffic volume intersections shall be instrumental in dampening the environmental pollution” Aijaz Asad Said.

It is pertinent to mention, the DC is the Chairman of the District Level Committee for NCAP.

He also directed the R&B department to complete the repair works on the road coming under the sewage project and ensure that the road is made fully operational for vehicular movement within five days.

He also inspected the works undertaken for 60 MLD In-fall Pumping Station being carried out by NBCC under Comprehensive Sewerage in Zone 3rd of Greater Srinagar at Ali Jan Road . Officials were directed to ensure in-fall, outfall Pumping Stations are made fully operational before the set deadline.

The DC also visited Batamaloo area to inspect the cleanliness and sanitation measures undertaken by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation.

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Hry to get its first 3 real-time noise monitoring stns — all in Fbd – Times of India

Gurgaon: In the wake of growing concerns over noise levels breaching permissible limits, the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) plans to set up the state’s first three real-time noise level monitoring stations in Faridabad.
Equipped with digital display boards and connected to a centralised networking system, these stations will monitor noise levels continuously for 24 hours and around the year.
Tenders inviting bids are out, and the board will award the work by mid-June. Faridabad is likely to get the three stations by August-end. According to HSPCB, these stations will help formulate an action plan for curbing noise pollution in the coming days. “We have opened the bidding for the project. June 6 is the last date for bids in response to the tender document for three real-time monitoring stations in Faridabad,” HSPCB member secretary S Narayan told TOI.
The HSPCB already has real-time ambient air quality monitoring stations at sectors 16A, 11, 30 and a new industrial area in Faridabad. The noise monitoring stations are likely to come up at three of these locations, but the pollution board is yet to take a final call.
The values of various parameters measured in the noise monitoring stations shall be transferred online automatically and stored in the central server networking system, just like the air quality index data.
The board has taken this initiative out of concerns over the increasing use of automobiles in the region, a primary cause of noise pollution. While noise pollution does not receive as much attention as air and water pollution, it impacts our health. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), nearly 1.1 billion young people aged between 12–35 years are at risk of hearing loss due to noise exposure.
Faridabad is the only Haryana district on the non-attainment cities’ list of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which means its air did not meet the national ambient air quality standards from 2011 to 15. So, it will be the first district to get the noise monitoring stations because the long-term plan is to ensure that, along with air pollution, noise pollution gets monitored for further analysis and creating a road map to curb the problems together.
According to the noise standards for ambient air and automobiles, domestic appliances and construction equipment, notified in Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986, the limit is 55 decibels (dB) in residential areas, 65 dB in commercial areas, and 75 dB in industrial areas. Near sensitive areas such as hospitals, noise levels should not exceed 45 dB. At night, the limit is 45 dB in residential areas, 55dB in commercial areas, and 70 dB in industrial areas.
“This new project will help our department prepare a database, identify the dangerous sources of noise pollution and take adequate action,” said an HSPCB officer. The plan is to expand the project to Gurgaon, as well.

DC Srinagar conducts whirlwind tour of City – Brighter Kashmir

The Deputy Commissioner(DC), Srinagar, Mohammad Aijaz Asad Monday undertook a whirlwind tour of several City areas to inspect the pace and progress of various ongoing major Developmental projects. He also took stock of implementation of the directions of the Lieutenant Governor regarding resolving public grievances.
Accompanied by Regional Director Pollution Control Board, Mohammad Rafi, SP, Traffic, Muzaffar Ahmad Shah, Joint Director Planning, Mohammad Yaseen Lone, Superintendent Engineer, R&B Circular Road, Abdul Qayoom Kirmani, Chief Sanitation Officer, Nazir Ahmad Baba, Tehsildar Eidgah, Ishfaq Ahmad Khan, besides other senior officers of UEED, NBCC and other concerned Departments, the DC visited Dr Ali Jan road, Firdous Colony, SMHS crossing Kak Saria, Aiwa Bridge Sangam, Soura, Hawal, Batamaloo and other City areas to have on the spot assessment of the developmental works.
While inspecting the progress of works under execution on laying the sewage pipes on the road being done by UEED at Dr Ali Jan road towards Wanganpora Eidgah, the Deputy Commissioner directed the officers and concerned executing agencies to work in double shifts to speed up the pace of works on the projects and expedite the project by June 02, 2022. He also directed the R&B department to complete the repair works on the road coming under the sewage project and ensure that the road is made road fully operational for vehicular movement within five days.
The DC also inspected the works undertaken for 60 MLD In-fall Pumping Station being carried out by NBCC under Comprehensive Sewerage in Zone 3rd of Greater Srinagar at Ali Jan Road and directed the NBCC authorities to ensure in-fall/ outfall Pumping Stations are made fully operational before the set deadline.
With regard to the measures undertaken for the beautification of Srinagar City, the DC visited, SMHS Crossing Kak Sarie, Soura and Hawal areas of the district and inspected the locations/sites identified for the construction/of Water Fountains at SMHS Crossing Kak Sarie, main Chowk Soura and Mirza Kamil Chowk Hawal.
The DC also visited Batamaloo area to inspect the cleanliness and sanitation measures undertaken by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation.
On the occasion, the DC directed the Chief Sanitation Officer, SMC to ensure proper sanitation and cleanliness in other City areas including Khanyar and Habba Kadal to ensure clean and hygienic environment in the District
Later, the DC also visited Aiwa Bridge and inspected the ongoing macadamization works being carried out on Aiwa Bridge to Sangam road.
DC instructed the concerned officials for implementation of the various directions of LG in a time bound manner as already discussed during the meeting.
Meanwhile after field visit of different areas DC also finalised the action plan for construction of fountains at nine locations under National Clean Air Programme. Deputy Commissioner who is the Chairman of the District Level Committee for NCAP said installation of fountains at important heavy traffic volume intersections shall be instrumental in dampening the environmental pollution.

Sites for installation of 9 fountains under NCAP finalised in Srinagar – Greater Kashmir

This was stated by Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Mohammad Aijaz Asad who is also the Chairman of the District Level Committee for NCAP. He said installation of fountains at important heavy traffic volume intersections shall be instrumental in dampening the environmental pollution.

Meanwhile, the DC undertook a whirlwind tour of several City areas to inspect the pace and progress of various ongoing major Developmental projects. He also took stock of implementation of the directions of the Lieutenant Governor regarding resolving public grievances. The DC visited Dr Ali Jan road, Firdous Colony, SMHS crossing Kak Sarai, Aiwa Bridge Sangam, Soura, Hawal, Batamaloo and other City areas to have on the spot assessment of the developmental works.

Sites for installation of 9 fountains under NCAP finalized: DC Srinagar – Kashmir Images



 Images News Netwok

Srinagar: The Deputy Commissioner (DC), Srinagar, Mohammad Aijaz Asad Monday undertook a whirlwind tour of several City areas to inspect the pace and progress of various ongoing major Developmental projects. He also took stock of the implementation of the directions of the Lieutenant Governor regarding resolving public grievances.

Accompanied by Regional Director Pollution Control Board, Mohammad Rafi, SP, Traffic, Muzaffar Ahmad Shah, Joint Director Planning, Mohammad Yaseen Lone, Superintendent Engineer, R&B Circular Road, Abdul Qayoom Kirmani, Chief Sanitation Officer, Nazir Ahmad Baba, Tehsildar Eidgah, Ishfaq Ahmad Khan, besides other senior officers of UEED, NBCC and other concerned Departments, the DC visited Dr Ali Jan road, Firdous Colony,  SMHS crossing Kak Sarai, Aiwa Bridge Sangam, Soura, Hawal, Batamaloo and other City areas to have on the spot assessment of the developmental works.

While inspecting the progress of works under execution on laying the sewage pipes on the road being done by UEED at Dr Ali Jan road towards Wanganpora Eidgah, the DC directed the officers and concerned executing agencies to work in double shifts to speed up the pace of works on the projects and expedite the project by June 02, 2022.

He also directed the R&B department to complete the repair works on the road coming under the sewage project and ensure that the road is made fully operational for vehicular movement within five days.

The DC also inspected the works undertaken for 60 MLD In-fall Pumping Station being carried out by NBCC under Comprehensive Sewerage in Zone 3rd of Greater Srinagar at Ali Jan Road and directed the NBCC authorities to ensure in-fall/outfall Pumping Stations are made fully operational before the set deadline.

With regard to the measures undertaken for the beautification of Srinagar City, the DC visited, SMHS Crossing Kak Sarie, Soura and Hawal areas of the district and inspected the locations/sites identified for the construction/of Water Fountains at SMHS Crossing Kak Sarie, main Chowk Soura and Mirza Kamil Chowk Hawal.

The DC also visited Batamaloo area to inspect the cleanliness and sanitation measures undertaken by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation.

On the occasion, the DC directed the Chief Sanitation Officer, SMC to ensure proper sanitation and cleanliness in other City areas including Khanyar and Habba Kadal to ensure a clean and hygienic environment in the District.

Later, the DC also visited Aiwa Bridge and inspected the ongoing macadamization works being carried out on Aiwa Bridge to Sangam road.

DC instructed the concerned officials to implement various directions of LG in a time-bound manner as already discussed during the meeting.

Meanwhile, after field visits to different areas DC also finalised the action plan for the construction of fountains at nine locations under the National Clean Air Programme. The DC who is the Chairman of the District Level Committee for NCAP said the installation of fountains at important heavy traffic volume intersections shall be instrumental in dampening the environmental pollution.


City receives sprinklers to control dust – Times of India

Ludhiana: For settling dust on the city roads, the municipal corporation has received sprinklers that will be distributed in every sub-zone.
The sprinklers have been purchased under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). The aim is to control dust particles, especially when smog envelops the city, leaving residents gasping for clean air.
As many as 16 sprinklers have arrived and one each has been given to 16 sub-zones of MC. One sprinkler has a capacity of 4,000 litres of water. The MC officials claimed that they would try to use treated water from sewerage treatment plants so that potable water was not wasted. Hitherto, the officials were using tankers for sprinkling water on roads. However, they failed to serve the purpose.
Besides, the MC has also received 20 e-rickshaws. It will hand these over to garbage collectors for increasing the pace of door-to-door waste collection.
An MC official said, “We are also purchasing four machines for mechanical sweeping. Besides, we have placed an order for two anti-smog machines too. For both, technical approval is awaited.”
Harish Jaiswal, a resident of Civil Lines, said, “The dust particles create problems for heart and asthma patients. Sprinklers will help settle dust, but there is a need to check pollution levels in the city too.”
MC operation and maintenance cell executive engineer Ranbir Singh said, “We have received 16 sprinklers and 20 e-rickshaws under NCAP programme. More e-rickshaws will arrive next month.”
The charging points for e-rickshaws will be provided at MC sub-zonal offices, static compactor sites and also at MC stores.

AMC’s air action plan is all air, no action, alleges opposition – Times of India

Ahmedabad: Congress councillors on Friday levelled several allegations against the BJP-governed city civic body including its failure in implementation of air action plan to control pollution, and making false claims of tree plantations.
During the board meeting of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), Danilimda councillor Shehzad Pathan, who is also the leader of opposition in the AMC, alleged that the ruling party had made multiple promises but those have remained only on paper.
“AMC has failed to fulfil its promises of controlling air pollution in the city. The civic body has been granted Rs 182 crore under the National Clean Air Programme for 2020-21 to take various steps to control air pollution but has failed to take any action so far,” Pathan said.
He said that under the air action plan, AMC was expected to construct wall-to-wall roads, and increase the city’s green cover by planting more trees. “Only six months ago the civic body hired a consultancy which will now chart out a plan for air pollution. It’s too late,” Pathan said.
AMC has hired ICLEI South Asia Local Governments for Sustainability as its consultant for implementation of the Action Plan for Control of Air Pollution in Ahmedabad (APCAPA). The consultant agency will chart out a strategy to effectively utilize the central grants given to the civic body for improvement of Ahmedabad’s air quality.
The state government had finalized an air action plan for the city In June 2019. In August 2021, the municipal corporation invited proposals from consultants to suggest ways to achieve the targets.