[Urbanstudy] Why you aren't ready for pollution season in Delhi this winter?

Vinay Baindur yanivbin at gmail.com
Wed Aug 23 03:37:05 CDT 2017


Why you aren't ready for pollution seasonTNN | Aug 23, 2017, 06:34 AM IST
[image: While graded response plan has improved air quality slightly,
long-term measures still not in place.]While graded response plan has
improved air quality slightly, long-term measures still not in place.

NEW DELHI: Delhi's pollution season is round the corner, but is the
government better prepared this time to keep smog episodes at bay? The city
may be marginally better off now that the graded response action plan is in
place, but that involves responding to pollution crises with emergency
interventions. In reality, policies with long-term implications for the
capital's air are unlikely to take off before winter.

The Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution Control Authority
submitted a comprehensive action plan with short-, mediumand longterm
action points to the court in April. It had drafted the plan in
consultation with Central and Delhi governments and other NCR states, and
the Supreme Court <http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/Supreme-Court> is
likely to decide on the enforcement of the plan on Wednesday.

Delhi's pollution starts spiking from October, when Punjab and Haryana
farmers burn paddy stubble. This is followed by the toxic pollution of
Diwali <http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/Diwali> festivities. Most
of the shortterm steps in the plan could have helped curb pollution spikes
like these. Experts have been warning time and again that Delhi needs to
drastically lower emissions during this time, but many sources remain
unaddressed. It is a period when accumulated pollution fails to disperse
due to falling temperature and reduced wind speed.

Another thing that might not happen is the augmentation of public
transport. Delhi has only 5,608 buses on the road though in 1998 the
Supreme Court had directed at least 10,000 buses by 2000.

In 2015, Delhi government promised to induct 10,000 buses, but till date
only 2,000 have been approved for procurement but not tendered yet.

Lieutenant governor Anil Baijal recently held a review meeting of various
agencies on implementing air pollution curbs. Wondering why these were not
in place already, he directed road maintaining agencies to put up signs
displaying the names of agencies and official responsible for the
stretches, while instructing New Delhi Municipal Council to create a
standard operating procedure for dust control at construction sites.

Among the government's major interventions discussed with EPCA
<http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/EPCA>, catching and penalising
visibly polluting vehicles has not been planned yet and the zonal plans for
a nonmotorised transport network to reduce dependence on polluting vehicles
hasn't started. As for implementing street design guidelines for footpaths,
PWD has only appointed a consultant and plans are being discussed. Some
traffic interventions such as intelligent traffic systems for lane driving,
electronic monitoring of traffic violations and early alarm system for
commuters during traffic congestion has also not been implemented.

"Only emergency response cannot help sustain air quality gains, " pointed
out Anumita Roy Chowdhury , head of Centre for Science's Clean Air
Campaign. "Systemic and comprehensive action on all pollution sources are
needed for real reduction of pollution. "

DTC officials claimed that parking is an obstacle to acquiring more buses.
"The existing parking space in depots, where both DTC and cluster scheme
buses currently park, is already under strain, "a senior official said. "We
are looking for land to create more depots. "


If we need pollution free environment public should cooperate with the
government and devise the ways & means how to prevent
pollution.Shankarnarayan Sarma

He added that plans are afoot to create multi-level parking at the existing

As for booking polluters, the municipal corporations claimed to be on the
job. North Delhi Municipal Corporation officials said they had issued 1,194
challans to construction sites found flouting dust pollution norms. SDMC
has prosecuted 1,418 individuals, while EDMC has taken action against
2,303. The three civic bodies also said they have initiated the process to
procure the vacuum machines. SDMC got six mechanical sweepers called Jatayu
in July, besides five litter collection machines, one power sweeping
machine, some suction machines and one mini jetting machine. The
procurement has been delayed in other two corporations due to their
financial crisis, officials said. One point on which experts were not sure
was whether there was a full-proof way of checking whether waste burning
and construction dust were being curbed.
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