Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday launched a campaign to tackle air pollution in the national capital and urged people to switch off the engines of their vehicles while waiting at traffic signals.
Red light on, gaadi off.— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 15, 2020
Delhi starts this today as a part of our campaign “Yudh, pradushan ke virudh” in our bid to tackle pollution.
Lets all pledge to turn off our vehicles at red lights. Every single effort will contribute in reducing pollution.
Addressing an online media briefing, the chief minister said that there are one crore vehicles registered in the city.
If 30-40 lakh vehicles come on the road everyday and keep idling at traffic signals, it increases air pollution levels in the city, Kejriwal said.
Smoky haze shrouds Delhi-NCR; air quality enters 'very poor' zone
Stricter anti-pollution measures, including a ban on electricity generators, under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) came into effect in Delhi-NCR today as a layer of haze hung over the region and air quality slipped to ‘very poor’ levels.
NASA's satellite imagery showed a large cluster of farm fires near Amritsar, Patiala, Tarn Taran, and Firozpur in Punjab, and Ambala and Rajpura in Haryana.
However, the Ministry of Earth Sciences' Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi said its impact on the capital's air quality was marginal.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar too said stubble burning is not a major factor for air pollution in Delhi-National Capital Region.
Lets accept that stubble burning causes huge pollution every yr in North India during this time. And lets all together find a soln sincerely. Blame game and politics hasn’t helped anyone. People r suffering. I am extremely worried that pollution will play havoc coupled wid corona— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 15, 2020
“Only 4 per cent pollution is due to stubble burning. Ninety-six per cent of it is due to local factors like biomass burning, garbage dumping, unpaved roads, dust, construction and demolition activities etc,” Javadekar said.
The minister flagged off 50 Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) inspection teams for field visits in Delhi-NCR to keep a watch on pollution hot spots during the winter season and urged the Punjab government to curb stubble burning.
Delhi recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 315 at 11:10 am. The last time the air quality hit such a poor level was in February.
The 24-hour average AQI was 276 on Wednesday, which falls in the 'poor' category. It was 300 on Tuesday, 261 on Monday, 216 on Sunday and 221 on Saturday. ITO (AQI 372), Vivek Vihar (AQI 370), and Shadipur (AQI 359) recorded the highest pollution levels on Thursday morning.
Air quality in the neighbouring cities of Faridabad (317), Ghaziabad (326), Greater Noida (344) and Noida (314) was also in the red zone.