Delhi pollution is at hazardous levels and authorities are scrambling for solutions. Even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is set to meet his Haryana counterpart tomorrow and perhaps, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh too, to thrash out a solution to the stubble-burning problem, the national capital continues to reel under heavy smog reducing air quality and visibility. Delhi has become a gas chamber with stubble burning in neighboring states Punjab and Haryana being pointed out as the single-biggest reason. Here are the 10 major developments in the smog situation in the national capital.
1. National Green Tribunal (NGT) is likely to hear today, an application filed by Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government over enforcing Odd-Even scheme in Delhi. The Delhi government yesterday moved the National Green Tribunal seeking modification of its November 11 order refusing to exempt women and two-wheelers from the odd-even car rationing scheme to tackle pollution.
2. The apex court also issued a notice to the Centre, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi government on a petition on stubble burning and dust pollution.
3. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked for a meeting with Haryana CM ML Khattar and will be going to Chandigarh for the same on Wednesday. Delhi CM has also requested a meeting with Punjab CM Cpt Amarinder Singh. He is looking for a viable solution to stubble burning.
4. Schools in Gurgaon reopened on Tuesday, but school authorities are directed to suspend all outdoor activities and sports events due to continuous heavy smog and high levels of pollution.
5.The Supreme Court has observed that pollution level in Delhi is an emergency like situation and has sought expeditious action.
6. Union Environment Minister and Congress MP from Rohtak Deepender Hooda said that he would ïntroduce a “Right to Clean Air” Bill in the winter session of Parliament. He wrote a letter to PM Narendra Modi urging him to constitute and head a committee with all north Indian chief ministers.
7. US-based United Airlines resumed flights from Newark, New Jersey to New Delhi after it was halted due to poor air quality. United Airlines on November 10, had scrubbed its direct, non-stop Newark-New Delhi flight, citing air quality issues in India’s capital.
8. Accidents and vehicle pile-ups continue in Delhi and nearby areas due to foggy conditions. Six people injured in multiple vehicle pileups, including a Haryana Roadways bus on NH-1 near Ambala due to dense fog. Five vehicles rammed into each other on Yamuna Expressway.
9. Pollution levels and poor air quality continued to soar in Delhi NCR. Delhi’s average air quality index (AQI) was at the season-high of 486 on November 9; closely followed by 460 on Sunday (November 12).
10. Verisk Maplecroft, a risk consultancy firm, said India had the worst air quality out of a list of 198 countries it measures, and that New Delhi ranked among the world’s top 10 most polluted cities.
(with inputs from The Indian Express)