Scientist Says Crop Burning Causes 70% of Delhi Pollution
- Regulations on diesel vehicles and trucks, halt on construction work, partial ban on crackers and sprinkling water to settle the dust are among the measures taken.
- Companies are facing a 5-10% staff crunch as pollution affects employees’ health.
- Virat Kohli, in a video message, urged Delhiites to act against pollution and act responsibly.
- Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav directs officials to tackle smog and to enforce rules strictly in the state.
- A study found that crop burning increases risk of cancer, kidney damage, cataracts among other illnesses.
- Government scientist Gufran Beig has said that crop burning caused 70% peak in Delhi pollution.
- NGT bans any kind of construction work, garbage-burning in Delhi NCR for next 7 days
Delhi has been reeling under the dire effects of a blanket of smog covering it since more than a week. As the shocking statistics keep coming in, some concrete measures have finally been taken to curb the air pollution.
Here are all the live updates on the air you’re breathing.
Sales of Air Purifiers Surge by 400% in Delhi
Owing to the air pollution, there has been around 400 percent surge in demand of air purifiers in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), a report said on Tuesday.
According to HomePunch, an e-commerce platform for home and kitchen appliances, more and more consumers are logging in to their platform to buy air purifiers.
The sales surge is unexpected. We have alerted all our brands, their wholesale and retail networks to be ready with available stocks.Sachin Goel, CEO, HomePunch
Since the morning post-Diwali, the Delhi-NCR, parts of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have been reeling under severe air pollution.
According to experts, the smog is the result of farmers burning crop stubble and residue in and around Delhi-NCR, unsettled dust due to heavy construction activities and vehicular emissions, further intensified by cracker-burning during Diwali.
SC to Centre: Draft Plan to Tackle Air Pollution
The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to devise a common minimum programme to deal with the menace of air pollution. It gave the Centre 48 hours to respond on the issue, reports PTI.
Smog Over Pollutant-Laden Yamuna
This image taken by The Indian Express’ Abhinav Saha goes to show how grim the situation in Delhi really is. Devotees offer Chatt Puja at the Yamuna river which is over-run by pollutants from nearby industries.
Real Pollution in Delhi is Political: Parrikar
Senior BJP leader, Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday in a veiled reference to the AAP government in Delhi said that the rising pollution levels are a result of the political slugfest in the capital city.
Taking aim at the Arvind Kejriwal government, the Defence Minister said: “The real pollution in Delhi is political pollution”.
NGT Bans Construction in Delhi NCR for 7 Days
After slamming state governments for the current situation, National Green Tribunal (NGT) has advised Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi to not burn their waste crops and find a solution as soon as possible.
The tribunal banned any kind of construction work in Delhi NCR for next 7 days on Tuesday.
NGT told all the five states that no stone crushers will be used and no garbage-burning should take place for next 7 days.
Govt Scientist Says Crop Burning Caused 70% Peak in Delhi Pollution
After the Environment Minister on Monday said that only 20 percent pollution is caused by crop burning and the rest is local factors, government scientist Gufran Beig said that, in fact, its contribution is 70 percent.
Program director of Safar (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research), under the Earth Sciences Ministry, Beig, said that crop fire’s role in causing air pollution in Delhi rose from almost zero on 1 November to a peak of 70 percent on 6 November.
Satyendra Jain, Delhi Health Minister, also gave a statement:
70 percent of pollution in Delhi is due to crop burning, we are taking steps like sprinkling water to curb it.
Crop Burning Increases Cancer, Kidney Damage Risk: Study
Crop burning in Punjab and Haryana are enhancing concentrations of toxic gases which lead to heightened risk cancer, kidney damage, cataracts and rheumatoid arthritis and the high levels of these can have dire effects, according to research from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali.
The cancer risk would be even higher for farmers and villagers closest to the fields, the study said, adding that mitigating crop fires could reduce these risks caused by gases like benzene and toluene, reported Times of India.
Farmers set fire to crop residue after harvest, which sends massive plumes of smoke into the air.
Akhilesh Yadav Directs Officials to Tackle Smog, Enforce Rules Strictly
Taking a grim view of poor air quality in Lucknow and dense smog in other Uttar Pradesh districts, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday directed officials and departments concerned to get their act together and find a solution to the problem.
He also ordered officials concerned to ensure rules and mechanisms to stop pollution are strictly implemented.
The Chief Minister asked officials to ensure proper garbage disposal and act against burning of garbage in the open. Officials should see to it that vehicles and generators and other machinery are used as per the pollution control rules, he said.
Virat Kohli Urges All Delhiites to Act Against Pollution
Due to the smog, schools have been closed and two Ranji Trophy matches were cancelled in the city ( Gujarat vs Bengal and Hyderabad vs Tripura).
The Indian Test captain Virat Kohli urged all Delhiites on Instagram to stop any act which would harm the environment and worsen the situation.
Take a look at his message in the video below:
Companies Face Staff Crunch as Pollution Hits Employees’ Health
A growing number of employees have been calling in sick, leading to a 5-10 per cent staff crunch across firms operating in the region, according to a report.
A survey conducted by Assocham over the last one week revealed that the persistent smog across Delhi-NCR has started taking a toll on employees' health and is hampering their ability to do their duties efficiently.
Moreover, it warned that the phenomenon is likely to hurt Brand India and impact the country's tourism.
People are suffering from persistent cough, burning eyes, itchy throat and respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis.
Government Finally Takes Some Action
After several meetings at the Centre as well as the state level, some measures were announced to tackle the situation and a health advisory was also issued for the people.
Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung directed the Delhi Police and municipal corporations to implement an action plan which includes de-registration of 15-year-old diesel vehicles starting from Monday. About 2 lakh vehicles will go off the capital's roads.
Overloaded trucks and trucks not destined for Delhi are not to be allowed in the capital city and polluting industries running in Delhi will be shut down. Delhi Metro has suspended all excavation, ‘back filling’ and concrete dismantling work in view of thick smog in the city.
The Delhi government banned use of firecrackers during weddings and other events, except for religious functions.
The government has also issued a guideline to the public to avoid health risks.