Delhi Pollution live updates: In a massive u-turn, Arvind Kejriwal government on Tuesday withdrew its plea seeking modifications in the Odd-Even scheme which was supposed to be enforced from Monday. During the hearing, National Green Tribunal (NGT) asked the Delhi government ‘why can’t it run ladies buses during the car-rationing scheme?” Citing reports that two-wheelers cause more pollution than four-wheelers, the NGT asked, “why do you intend to give arbitrary exemptions”? 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. The application, filed before a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, sought exemption of women drivers from the scheme, saying it may affect the safety and security of women. It sought that the exemptions be allowed for one year till the government procured 2,000 buses for public transport to tackle lakhs of commuters.
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5:30 PM: Government of Delhi has asked the neighboring states to implement Odd-Even.
5:15 PM: Speaking to DT on the sidelines of a recent cycling event actor Farhan Akhtar said, “All such initiatives can help. Eventually, that’s all really we can do. We have brought most cities – not just Delhi – to a point where pollution has become a serious issue.”
5:00 PM: NGT noted that reports of the pollution control committees from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) said that two-wheelers caused greater pollution and are the reason for approximately 30 per cent of the pollution in Delhi.
4:50 PM: NGT, on November 11, gave a conditional nod to the Kejriwal’s government’s decision to implement the odd-even scheme. NGT also said that no exemption should be allowed to “any person or officer and two-wheelers”.
4:45 PM “Delhi government wishes to withdraw its application filed for modification of our order. They have the liberty to file a fresh plea. The application is disposed of,” the bench said.
4:40 PM: NGT had said the odd-even scheme should be implemented when PM10 level goes above 500 microgrammes per cubic meter and PM 2.5 level crosses the limit of 300 microgrammes per cubic meter during a span of 48 hours.
4:30 PM: NGT expressed concern over the high pollution level which was an “environmental and health emergency.”
4:15 PM: The tribunal said that the city should “not gift infected lungs to its children.”
4:00 PM: Watch Now!
3:50 PM: Read NOW! How Delhi’s air has become a silent killer
3:45 PM: Meanwhile, the pollution levels in Beijing, China recorded ‘good conditions’ with PM2.5 levels at 29.
3:40 PM: The air quality index at the Mandir Marg station in Delhi recorded ‘hazardous status’ at 3 PM today.
3:35 PM: Rajat Arora, an Interventional Cardiologist and Medical Director at Yashoda Hospitals in Delhi said, “What does one need to do? Primarily start with planting more trees. Development and upgrading of infrastructure should not mean felling of trees and starving people of oxygen.”
3:30 PM: WATCH NOW – Green Court Rejects Exemption Sought By Delhi Government
3:15 PM: Watch this video
3:10 PM: The National Green Tribunal today refused to exempt women and two-wheelers from the Delhi government’s odd-even scheme and ordered that diesel vehicles over ten years old be taken off the roads immediately.
3:05 PM: The green panel has also asked the city government to identify the most polluted areas today itself and sprinkle water.
3:00 PM: It also allowed the non-polluting industries and those manufacturing essential goods to operate in the Delhi-National Capital Region.
2:55 PM: The Delhi government had yesterday moved the NGT to modify its the November 11 order refusing to exempt women and two-wheelers from the odd-even car rationing scheme to tackle pollution.
2:50 PM: As the NGT today refused to modify its order, the city government withdrew its plea.
2:47 PM: Watch this video
2:42 pm: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday turned down the Delhi government’s plea to exempt women drivers and two-wheelers from the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme, saying there was “no logic” to the proposal.
2:37 pm: The top green tribunal also asked the Delhi government to choose a spot in the city by 4 p.m. on Tuesday and sprinkle water from helicopter on the area to know the efficacy of the step in reducing air pollution.
2:32 pm: Rapping the Delhi government for its plea, the tribunal asked why should exemption be given to two-wheelers when they are a major cause of pollution.
2:27 pm: “On what basis are you asking exemption for two-wheelers,” NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
2:25 pm: On Delhi government counsel Tarunvir Singh Khehar raising the issue of women’s security, the tribunal said: “Why don’t you run Women’s Special buses?”
2:20 pm: The tribunal also rapped the Delhi government over “delay” in the procurement of 4,000 additional buses and noted that sprinkling of water on pollution hotspots was not being done properly.
2:15 pm: “Why don’t you act upon those who are responsible for pollution. How many people have you penalised or challaned so far,” Justice Kumar asked.
2:12 pm: Following the tribunal’s order, the Delhi government withdrew its petition.
2:10 pm: The tribunal said the Delhi government could move a fresh petition before it on the traffic rationing scheme.
2:05 pm: It said Delhi government could use helicopters, if necessary, to sprinkle water at a pollution hotspot in the city to know its efficacy.
2:00 pm: “Choose one place in Delhi by 4 p.m. and sprinkle water and thereafter calculate the particle pollution to know how much difference does it make,” the tribunal said.
1:55 pm: The tribunal also allowed the National Highways Authority of India to go ahead with construction of the Delhi-Meerut Highway at the eastern periphery of the city but said there should be no dust pollution.
1:50 pm: The Delhi government had on Saturday decided to halt the odd-even traffic restriction scheme, which was scheduled to be implemented from November 13 to 17. It moved the NGT on Monday with a review petition seeking exemptions for two-wheelers and women.
1:45 pm: NGT allows non-polluting industries and those manufacturing essential goods to operate in Delhi-NCR.
1:40 pm: NGT asks Delhi govt to identify most polluted areas today and sprinkle water; orders taking off 10-yr old diesel vehicles off the road.
1:36 pm: NGT refuses to exempt women and two-wheelers from odd-even scheme after which Delhi govt withdrew its modification plea.
1:32 pm: Industries involved in essential commodities have been exempted to carry on their activity.We also direct industries whose emissions are limited in parameters be allowed to operate subject to verification, says NGT.
1:29 pm: Meanwhile, Terming the air quality in the national capital as poor and unsafe, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) today urged the Delhi High Court to pass directions to postpone the Delhi Half Marathon.
1:26 pm: Taking note of the present air pollution in the city and the urgency expressed by the IMA, a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sanjeev Sachdeva issued notice to the Delhi government, police, the pollution control panel DPCC and the organisers of the event and sought their reply by November 16, the next date of hearing.
1:23 pm: The order came on a letter written by the IMA to Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seeking postponing of the marathon, scheduled to be held on November 19.
1:20 pm: The letter was moved in the main PIL initiated by the high court to address air pollution problems of Delhi and in which it has been issuing directions from time to time.
1:17 pm: The high court had on November 9 issued a slew of directions to improve air quality of Delhi.
1:15 pm: NGT to Delhi Govt: Don’t gift infected lungs to children. They have to wear masks to school.What constitutes a health emergency according to you ?
1:13 pm: Measures should be applied automatically by Govt after dangerous levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 persist for more than 48 hours.
1:00 pm: Watch this video
— News18 (@CNNnews18) November 14, 2017
12:55 pm: Delhi Govt withdraws its petition for modifications. NGT suggested Delhi govt take care of the logical explanations for Odd Even exemptions when they approach NGT again
12:50 pm: NGT to Delhi government: When reports have stated that two-wheelers are more polluting than four-wheelers, why do you intend to give arbitrary exemptions? Is this a joke? What does one stand to gain from this?
12:45 pm: National Green Tribunal (NGT) asks Delhi Govt as to why it can’t run ladies only buses to solve the problem of transport during Odd Even scheme
12:40 PM: Construction activities have been suspended temporarily; the city chiefs have been calling for a total ban on trucks entering the city.
12:35 PM: Schoolchildren have been asked to refrain from going to schools and have been asked to stay indoors because they are the most vulnerable to pollution that is usually at its peak in the mornings.
12:30 PM: Why be concerned only about the children and the aged? The microscopic particles, which are smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, are considered harmful because they are small enough to lodge deep into the lungs and pass into other organs, causing serious health risks to even a normal human being.
12:25 PM: Retailers selling air purifiers are making merry as sales have surged significantly. People are moving about with masks and scarves over their nose, hoping that it could bring respite.
12:20 PM: The hashtag #smog was the top trending on Twitter, Facebook, even as the people of Delhi continue to demand stronger measures to curb pollution.
12:15 PM: But what does one need to do? Primarily start with planting more trees. Development and upgrading of infrastructure should not mean felling of trees and starving people of oxygen.
12:10 PM: The government should ensure that polluting industrial establishments move out of the city limits and also stringently limit approvals to these units in areas of habitation.
12:05 PM: The government machinery should also start looking at greener alternatives in place of pollution-emitting fuel in vehicles.
12:00 PM: While the to-do list could be long, it is imperative to start somewhere because pollution has now overwhelmed the action taken and what is unfolding today is a scary story.
11:53 am: A report in the Lancet medical journal stated that pollution had claimed as many as 2.5 million lives in India in 2015, the highest in the world. And it’s only a guess the role of the nation’s capital has on this “achievement”.
11:50 am: How much sense does it really make in always working on a war-footing, in utter desperation, year-after-year, when there is a need to work on this all through the year so that the situation that only seems to be worsening year-after-year is judiciously controlled?
11:45 am: The World Health Organisation in 2014 classified New Delhi as the world’s most polluted capital, with air quality levels worse than Beijing; and it appears that now in 2017 the situation has worsened multiple-fold, IANS reported.
11:43 am: Delhi’s air quality is usually known to worsen ahead of the onset of winter as the cool air traps pollutants near the ground, preventing them from dispersing into the atmosphere, a phenomenon known as inversion, IANS reported.
11:40 am: While Delhi has always had its fair share of pollutants attributed to the exploding vehicular population. (What can you expect if 1,400 new vehicles are added to the roads every single day?) According to government statistics, the total number of vehicles in Delhi exceeded 10 million for the first time in 2016, according to IANS report.
11:37 am: There is official apathy to keep a check on vehicular emissions; and the problem is exacerbating because of the stubble burning by the farmers, IANS reported.
11:34 am: The Delhi government has declared a medical emergency with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) sending out alarming messages on its website, calling for states to tackle pollution on a “priority basis”, according to IANS story.
11:31 am: It has been learnt that the CPCB is holding frantic meetings to keep the public updated on the alarming PM (particulate matter) levels. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has termed the situation as an “emergency” as the Meteorological Department has forecast that a change of weather is most unlikely, according to IANS stroy.
11:28 AM: Delhi High Court today issued notice to Delhi govt, DPCC, police and organiser of Delhi Half Marathon on IMA plea to postpone event in view of poor air quality.
11:25 AM: The toxic smog continued to envelope national capital today morning, with reduced visibility in some areas leading to cancellation of ten trains in the city.
11:22 AM: According to a senior Indian Railways official, 73 trains have been delayed, 34 rescheduled, and 10 cancelled.
11:19 AM: “The minimum temperature was recorded at 14.6 degrees Celsius, a notch above normal,” a MeT department official said.
11:16 AM: The humidity was recorded at 84 per cent at 8.30 AM.
11:13 AM: “Light rain is expected tomorrow, which might intensify the fog but could clear the smog,” the official said.
11:10 AM: Delhi has been experiencing dense smog for about a week, forcing authorities to enforce emergency measures such as banning construction activities and brick kilns in the National Capital Region.
11:05 am: Watch- Lights rains may occur today in Delhi.
11:00 am: The national capital woke up to a moderate foggy Tuesday morning with the minimum temperature settling at 14.6 degrees Celsius, a notch above the season’s average, the Met office said.
10:56 am: At least 118 trains delayed, 34 rescheduled and 10 were cancelled due to the shallow fog in northern India.
10:54 am: “There was modetate fog on Tuesday morning. The sky will remain mainly clear during the day,” an official of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
10:51 am: The humidity at 8.30 a.m. was 84 per cent and visibility was 1,000 metres.
10:48 am: The cancelled trains were the New Delhi-Alipurdwar Mahananda Express, Delhi-Azamgarh Kaifiyat Express, Anand Vihar-Mau Express, Raxaul-Delhi Sadbhawana Express, Sriganganagar-Delhi Intercity, Delhi-Firozpur Intercity, Delhi-Varanasi Mahanama Express, Delhi-Faizilka Intercity, Delhi-Mau Mau Express and Delhi-Chindawara Patalkot Express.
10:43 am: According to the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), no flights were delayed or cancelled.
10:40 am: Monday’s maximum temperature settled at 28.4 degrees Celsius, the season’s average, while the minimum temperature was 12.4 degrees Celsius, a notch below the season’s average.
10:35 am: WATCH- NGT to hear Delhi government plea over Odd-Even
10:30 am: Supreme Court yesterday asked the Centre, the AAP government and states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana about remedial steps that can be taken to curb the rising pollution.
10:25 am: Watch this video
10:21 am: A ‘very poor’ AQI comes with the warning that people may develop respiratory illness on prolonged exposure while exposure to ‘severe’ air affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing respiratory or cardiovascular diseases.
10:18 am: “The recovery to very poor is now expected only by the afternoon of November 14. It was otherwise expected on Sunday. However, a steady declining trend in AQI started from the evening of November 12,” SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) said in its analysis.
10:15 am: The impact of smoke from stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana has come down substantially, both the agencies said, explaining that the wind direction has changed to southeast (through western Uttar Pradesh).
10:10 am: “Very light rain/drizzle is likely to occur on November 15. Under the above scenario, atmospheric circulation over Delhi will become favourable for reduction of air pollutants from this evening,” the CPCB said.
10:05 am: Take a look at Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh
.@capt_amarinder Sir, I am coming to Chandigarh on Wed to meet Haryana CM. Would be grateful if u cud spare sometime to meet me. It is in collective interest
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 14, 2017
10:00 am: Captain Amarinder Singh Sir, I am coming to Chandigarh on Wed to meet Haryana CM. Would be grateful if u cud spare sometime to meet me. It is in collective interest, Arvind Kejriwal wrote on Twitter.
9:45 am: The CPCB’s air quality index for the city was 460, same as yesterday. The hourly-graph of the Central Control Room for Air Quality Management had a downward slope, reflecting the improvement.
9:42 am: The levels of ultrafine particulates PM10 and PM10 were 543 and 367 micrograms per cubic metre at 7 pm, after steadily dropping through the day.
9:40 am: The corresponding 24-hour safe standards are 60 and 100.
9:38 am: Air quality will be out of the emergency category, as per the Centre-notified Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) once these levels fall below 500 and 300 respectively.
9:36 am: Delhi’s air quality remained in the emergency category for the second straight day yesterday.
9:34 am: However, monitoring agencies have forecast a gradual clean-up from Tuesday.
9:32 am: Both the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and SAFAR predicted that air quality will start improving from Tuesday and may turn ‘very poor’, which is a notch better than ‘severe’.
9:30 am: Thick blanket of smog engulfs Delhi
9:27 am: “Why can’t you use helicopters to create artificial rain to control dust pollution. Are they only meant to carry your officials?” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar had asked.
9:24 am: “Held a joint meeting with Pawan Hans & all related central govt depts to explore aerial sprinkling feasibility. Decided to work out a SoP (standard operating procedure) to begin with,” Hussain tweeted.
9:21 am: The Delhi government is in talks with Pawan Hans for aerially sprinkling water in the city to settle particulate matter.
9:18 am: Responding to a letter written by Hussain on possibility of such an exercise, Vanrajsinh H Dodia, the general manager (BD and marketing) of Pawan Hans, had said the company had the “capacity” to take it up.
9:15 am: The idea of aerial sprinkling of water was first floated by the National Green Tribunal in November last year.
9:13 am: The Delhi government has decided to work out a standard operating procedure for aerially sprinkling water in the city to settle particulate matter as part of efforts to tackle the alarming levels of pollution.
9:10 am: Environment Minister Imran Hussain said he held a joint meeting with Pawan Hans, an aviation entity, and all concerned departments of the Centre to explore aerial sprinkling feasibility.