Provide electric heaters to guards: Delhi government to RWAs

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New Delhi | Published: November 28, 2017 10:23:39 PM

The Central Pollution Control Board's Air Quality Index score was 307, still in the 'very poor' category, but better as compared to yesterday's 362.

The Delhi government today directed all resident welfare associations (RWAs) to provide electric heaters to night security guards and ensure that they are not forced to burn coal or wood to keep warm during chilly nights.

The Delhi government today directed all resident welfare associations (RWAs) to provide electric heaters to night security guards and ensure that they are not forced to burn coal or wood to keep warm during chilly nights. Such open burning leads to emission of particulate matter, which is readily trapped near the surface, especially during the winter months due to a number of factors such as low temperature, high moisture and lack of winds. Meanwhile, the city’s air quality improved a little today. The Central Pollution Control Board’s Air Quality Index score was 307, still in the ‘very poor’ category, but better as compared to yesterday’s 362. The AQI takes into account levels of suspended particulate matter and gases like nitrogen dioxide and ground-level Ozone.

The 24-hour average concentration (rolling) of PM2.5 and PM10 were 260 and 162 microgrammes per cubic metre (ug/m3) respectively at 7 PM, as per readings of SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research). The safe levels of these ultrafine particulates are 60 and 100. Providing electric heaters is a part of the Centre-notified Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), but as of today, only a handful of RWAs have adopted the measure and even the Delhi government did not show much enthusiasm in enforcing it. Environment Minister Imran Hussain, following a review meeting on the status of air quality, today directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to issue a notice relating to electric heaters for watchmen.

“DPCC is accordingly issuing a Public Notice requiring Residential Welfare Associations (RWAs) and Individual House Owners to provide Electric Heaters during Winter to Security Staff,” an official statement said. All the land owning agencies, municipal corporations and local bodies have been tasked with enforcing the measures.

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