The Badarpur thermal power station, the city’s biggest power plant, will be shut down from October 15
GN Bureau | October 5, 2018
After experiencing a few “good” quality air days this year, Delhiites are feeling the nip in the air again. Despite strict warnings and imposition of fines, farmers in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana have started burning the stubble in their fields. The weather is already hazy in the national capital with the air quality index at 201 on October 4, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) website. The “poor” air quality is predicted to get worse by October 10.
From road dust to vehicular emission, and from crop burning in neighbouring states to power plants, there are a host of reasons for the unbreathable Delhi in winter months.
This is the third year when the capital would have to brave bad air quality. Let’s take a look if the city is better prepared this time.
1. In September, union minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal flagged off 16 mechanical road sweepers and 40 water tankers. Procured at a cost of Rs 300 crore, the tankers and mechanical sweepers aim to bring down the level of dust pollution in the city.
2. The Badarpur Thermal Power Station, the city’s biggest power plant, will be shut down from October 15. The coal-fired plant was a major air polluter. Tughlakabad sub-station will start functioning by the end of October.
3. Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain has said that no construction material should be kept in the open. He has also instructed all high-rise buildings to make arrangement to sprinkle water for dust suppression.
4. More than 50 outdoor air purifiers will be installed at intersections on major roads. Prototypes of WAYU, air purifying machines developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, have been installed at the ITO junction. Each machine costs around Rs 60,000.
5. By the end of October an early warning system will be installed which will predict air quality levels at least two days in advance. The system will draw data from 36 monitoring stations run by the CPCB, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and Safar.
6. By October 15 Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to curb air pollution will be implemented, said supreme court mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA). GRAP will be enforced if the air quality gets ‘very poor’ or ‘severe’. If GRAP gets gets implemented then NCR cities will not be allowed to run diesel generators.
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