Delhi has adopted some unique policies and schemes to fight pollution in the territory. From odd-even schemes to hiking parking charges, from banning constructions to shutting down schools, Delhi has its way to deal with the pollution disaster.
Delhi this year, like any other year, is repeating the tradition of crossing danger levels of pollution. However, this year has been the worst of all. In-spite of consecutively crossing the severe marks on the AQI pollution index, Delhites and Delhi government fails to understand the need of the moment. Every year cracker and stubble burning leads to escalating pollution.
During the past week, Delhi’s average AQI index reached 600+ figures, with some areas alerting a 999 pointer on the index. Much health organization including Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority aka EPCA has declared a health emergency in the NCR. The doctors have declared the condition as a public health crisis.
As a result, after many deliberations, discussions and blame game among political leaders, finally, the government has awakened to implement few steps in an attempt to mitigate Delhi’s pollution.
1. Odd-Even Policy on Vehicles Make A Comeback
With Crackers and crop burning already contributing to the cause of pollution, the government has decided to reduce the pollution caused by Vehicular emissions. As a result, the government has ordered to re`-implement the ‘Odd-Even Scheme’ in the territory for a week from 5th November to 13th November.
The rule mandates that between 8 am and 8 pm private, non-commercial vehicles are allowed out on the roads on alternate days – odd days if the vehicle’s license plate ends in an odd number, and even days if it ends in an even number.
2. Delhi Authorities Enhance Parking Fees By Four Times
To discourage people to take out their cars and use public transport instead, Delhi Government Authorities including Municipal Corporations of Delhi, Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation have decided to hike their parking feed by approximately 4 times. This is also a tricky way to demotivate vehicular emissions.
3. Health and Family Welfare Ministry Directs All Hospitals to Be Prepared For the Patient Load
The Union Health & Family Welfare Ministry has reviewed the arising pollution in Delhi. The Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Shri J P Nadda has asked the hospital to be prepared to deal with patient load. He has directed the officials and heads of all Central Government hospitals to keep a close watch on the situation as the number of patients may increase due to air pollution. The hospital has been asked to keep nebulizers and other related equipment in good condition to meet with any exigency.
4. Ban on Entry of Trucks
All kinds of heavy goods vehicles and trucks have been prohibited from entering the city. Unless and until the commercial trucks are transporting essential commodities they are not allowed in the city limits.
5. Ban on Civil Construction and Strict compliance of Graded Response Action Plan
Apart from vehicles, dust from construction activities has been considered as the 2nd major source of pollution in Delhi NCR. It can cause health complications like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, silicosis, etc. As a result, amidst the current crisis, the Delhi government has imposed a ban on construction and demolition activities.
6. Schools to Be Closed Till November 12
Delhi government also declared a shut down for all the schools in Delhi (private, government and municipal) to remain closed till Sunday, November 12. This has been sought as a measure to save school students from the pollution.
7. Metro Announces More Trips, Public Transport Buses Increases Its Numbers
To encourage people to use public transport, the Delhi Metro has announced that the metros will undertake over 180 additional trips to discourage the use of private vehicles. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will be running 3,317 train trips from November 9 instead of the regular 3,131. The increase of 186 train trips is being sought as a measure to provide increased capacity to the public in this weather.
8. National Green Tribunal Bans Waste Burning In Delhi & Restricts Industrial Activities
Amongst its various efforts to deal with the problem, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed a ban on industrial activities and entry of trucks, lambasted the Delhi government and civic bodies over the worsening air quality in Delhi and neighbouring states. It further directed the civic bodies to constitute teams to ensure there is no burning of waste in Delhi-NCR. Apart from this, the government has also been asked to sprinkle water where PM 10 is found to be more than 600 micrograms per cubic metre.
Author: Keshav Kothari
A young CA Aspirant who is a writer and a photographer with the zeal to convey a positive perception through his work.