Delhi’s poor air quality has prompted the Supreme Court to promise penal action against those in charge of the administration, everyone from chief secretary down to the village head in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, where farmers continue to burn crop stubble, and order cessation of construction and demolition in the Capital. The court, sceptical of the utility of the Delhi government’s odd-even scheme of regulating traffic, in which private vehicles with odd/even registration numbers are barred from plying on alternate days, has asked for evidence that the scheme has a tangible impact. Neither directive fully addresses the basic problem Delhi Pollution.
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Delhi suffers from a high base load of pollution, which makes episodic additions, such as crop stubble burning prior to sowing, Diwali fireworks and a bout of still air that traps pollution, triggers for a public health emergency.
The reason why Delhi struggles with exceptionally polluted air every October-November is failure to curtail pollution from year-round sources such as road dust, construction and demolition dust, biomass or garbage burning, and industrial pollution, besides that from vehicle emissions, all of which take place locally. Rather than focus on the episodic, and on what happens in other states, Delhi must address these constant sources of pollution.
Nor is Delhi the only place with toxic air. For its part, the Union environment ministry took a major policy step to address the air quality problem with National Clean Air Programme, a partnership among central, state and local governments with a focus on 120-odd cities with poor air. There is need for greater and cooperative action to achieve the plan’s goal of substantially reducing pollution by 2024, setting aside partisan politics.
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Source:- The Economic Times