Amid Biting Cold In Capital

Amid Biting Cold, Rickshaw Pullers, Hawkers Forced To Work For Survival In Capital

Despite the biting cold affecting the national capital, this December, not everyone is very fortunate to have a hot coffee and a warm bed. There are certain sections that are compelled to work in the open during this chilling season as the mercury dips.

After a brief respite, severe cold conditions returned to the national capital on Saturday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded 10 degrees celsius at the Safdarjung station in Delhi.
In such circumstances on Delhi’s streets, we can see many people putting efforts to connect the ends either by selling tea or pulling rickshaws. Moreover, hawkers, sweepers, and many other professionals have also gotten no respite from the cold.

A tea seller in Delhi told ANI that he opens his shop daily as several other people come to his shop early in the morning.

“I have to open the tea stall at 4 am as there are many people, especially auto drivers, rickshaw pullers, and hawkers, come here to my shop to start their day with the tea from my shop,” said the tea shop owner Ramesh Sharma.

A sweeper Lalit who sweeps the street near Civil Lines said “I am an MCD worker, I have to do work even if it is cold or raining before Delhi wakes up because it’s my job. I come here at 4 and sweep the street before the traffic starts to run, else it would become very challenging.”

Meanwhile, one of the rickshaw pullers here, Basir Khan said that they are compelled to work in such conditions as he has to feed the family.

“People like us have to work every day under compulsion if we start being affected by the cold waves or rain, how will our families survive and how will my children study? Everything would turn difficult,” rickshaw puller Basir Khan said.

Another rickshaw puller, who is also a migrant worker from Bihar, Dashrath Sahni, expressed his feelings and said that if affected by weather, he would not be able to pay the rent of the rickshaw to its owner.

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), New Delhi’s Lodhi Road experienced ‘Very Poor’ air quality this morning with AQI recorded at 369.

The India Meteorological Department earlier predicted that cold wave conditions would likely prevail from December 31 and January 1 over Haryana, Chandigarh, and New Delhi.

In a tweet on December 28, IMD said, “Reduction in dense fog and cold day conditions over northwest India during next 48 hours. A fresh spell of dense fog and cold wave likely to commence over northwest India from 31st December 2022”. (ANI)

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Delhi: BS3 Petrol, BS4 Diesel Vehicles Ban As Air Quality Deteriorates

The Transport department of the Delhi government imposed a ban on the plying of BS-3 Petrol and BS- 4 Diesel LMVs (4-wheelers) in Delhi-NCR till December 9 with immediate effect.

The restrictions came in the wake of the restrictions imposed by the air quality panel under stage III of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
Earlier on Sunday, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), a Union government panel recommending steps to control air pollution in the national capital, announced a temporary ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi-NCR.

The announcement came after the air quality in Delhi and the national capital region worsened again, breaching the ‘severe’ category.

“As per the directions as provided under Stage III of the revised GRAP and under section 115 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, it is hereby ordered that there shall be restrictions to ply BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel LMVs (four-wheelers) in NCT of Delhi with immediate effect till December 9 or till downward revision in GRAP stage, whichever is earlier,” read an order issued by the transport department.

The ban will not apply to the vehicles used for government, electoral, and emergency services operations.

“If any BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel LMV (4 wheeler) found plying on the roads, will be prosecuted under section 194 of Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 which provides with a fine of Rs 20,000,” read the transport department order.

Meanwhile, The CAQM, which on Sunday chaired a meeting to review the air quality in Delhi-NCR, put out a release saying, “As the AQI in Delhi has slipped into ‘severe’ category, the sub-committee had decided that all actions, as envisaged under Stage III of the GRAP, be implemented in right earnest by all the agencies concerned, with immediate effect in the NCR, in addition to all action under Stage I and Stage II of the GRAP.”

The panel further observed that the air quality saw a further deterioration over the last 24 hours, with Delhi’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 407 on December 4, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

In its order, the CAQM says it temporarily banned construction activities, “with the exception of Metro Rail services, including stations; airport and inter-state bus terminals; railway services/stations; national security/defence-related activities/ projects of national importance; hospitals/healthcare facilities; linear public projects such as highways, roads, flyovers, overbridges, power transmission, pipelines; sanitation projects like sewage treatment plants and water supply projects; ancillary activities specific to and supplementing above categories of projects”.

Milk and dairy units and those involved in the manufacturing of life-saving medical equipment, drugs, and medicines, were also exempted from the restrictions stipulated in the CAQM order.

An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’ and 401 and 500 ‘severe’. (ANI)

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Delhi AQI

Delhi Suffers Another ‘Very Poor’ Air Day With 337 AQI

Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded on Tuesday at 337 by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

According to the SAFAR, Delhi’s air quality was recorded in the ‘very poor’ category on Tuesday.
Earlier on Monday, the national capital woke up to smog with the Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded at 340 by SAFAR.

The Air Quality Index from 0 to 100 is considered as good, while from 100 to 200 it is moderate, from 200 to 300 it is poor, and from 300 to 400 it is said to be very poor and from 400 to 500 or above it is considered as severe.

Earlier on Sunday, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), a Union government panel recommending steps to control air pollution in the national capital, announced a temporary ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi-NCR as part of its Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The announcement came after the air quality in Delhi and the national capital region breached the ‘severe’ category.

The CAQM, which on Sunday chaired a meeting to review the air quality in Delhi-NCR, put out a release saying, “As the AQI in Delhi has slipped into ‘severe’ category, the sub-committee had decided that all actions, as envisaged under Stage III of the GRAP, be implemented in right earnest by all the agencies concerned, with immediate effect in the NCR, in addition to all action under Stage I and Stage II of the GRAP.”

The panel had further observed that the air quality saw a further deterioration over the last 24 hours, with Delhi’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 407 on December 4, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

In its order, the CAQM said it temporarily banned construction activities, “with the exception of Metro Rail services, including stations; airport and inter-state bus terminals; railway services/stations; national security/defence-related activities/ projects of national importance; hospitals/healthcare facilities; linear public projects such as highways, roads, flyovers, overbridges, power transmission, pipelines; sanitation projects like sewage treatment plants and water supply projects; ancillary activities specific to and supplementing above categories of projects”.

Milk and dairy units and those involved in the manufacturing of life-saving medical equipment, drugs, and medicines, were also exempted from the restrictions stipulated in the CAQM order. (ANI)

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Delhi NCR air quality

Construction, Demolition Banned In Delhi-NCR As AQI Turns Severe

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), a Union government panel recommending steps to control air pollution in the national capital, on Sunday announced a temporary ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi-NCR as part of its Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).

The announcement came after the air quality in Delhi and the national capital region worsened again, breaching the ‘severe’ category.
The CAQM, which on Sunday chaired a meeting to review the air quality in Delhi-NCR, put out a release saying, “As the AQI in Delhi has slipped into ‘severe’ category, the sub-committee had decided that all actions, as envisaged under Stage III of the GRAP, be implemented in right earnest by all the agencies concerned, with immediate effect in the NCR, in addition to all action under Stage I and Stage II of the GRAP.”

The panel further observed that the air quality saw a further deterioration over the last 24 hours, with Delhi’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 407 on December 4, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

In its order, the CAQM says it temporarily banned construction activities, “with the exception of Metro Rail services, including stations; airport and inter-state bus terminals; railway services/stations; national security/defence-related activities/ projects of national importance; hospitals/healthcare facilities; linear public projects such as highways, roads, flyovers, overbridges, power transmission, pipelines; sanitation projects like sewage treatment plants and water supply projects; ancillary activities specific to and supplementing above categories of projects”.

Milk and dairy units and those involved in the manufacturing of life-saving medical equipment, drugs and medicines, were also exempted from the restrictions stipulated in the CAQM order.

An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’ and 401 and 500 ‘severe’. (ANI)

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Delhi AQI 'Very Poor' Measuring At 322 | Lokmarg

CAQM Lifts Ban On Entry Of Heavy Vehicles To NCR As Air Quality Improves

In view of the improvement in the overall air quality of the Delhi-NCR in the past few days, a Central government panel revoked Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) stage 4, which means that there is no ban on entry of trucks and non-BS 6 diesel light motor vehicles are allowed. But ban on non-essential construction activities which come under GRAP-3 now in force would continue.

The GRAP is an emergency response action plan invoked with a view to arrest further deterioration of adverse air quality scenarios in NCR.
GRAP stage 3 still remains invoked. So, ban on construction and demolition activities in the entire NCR region except for railway services, metro rail services including stations and other essential activities will continue.

According to the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region (CAQM), “Under Stage III State Governments in NCR/ GNCTD may impose restrictions on BS III petrol and BS IV diesel LMVS (4 wheelers). Choose a cleaner commute — share a ride to work or use public transport or walk or cycle.”

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai will chair a meeting on Monday to discuss revoking of 50 per cent of work from home and re-opening primary schools after the orders issued by the Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region (CAQM) today.

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry in a statement said, “While comprehensively reviewing the overall air quality parameters of Delhi-NCR, the Commission noted that due to forecast by IMD/ IITM not indicating any steep degradation in the overall air quality of Delhi-NCR in the coming days, it is advisable to relax the restrictions and further roll back Stage IV of GRAP with immediate effect in the entire NCR”.

According to CAQM, the present AQI level of Delhi is around 339 which is about 111 AQI

points below the threshold for invoking the GRAP Stage-IV actions (Delhi AQI > 450) and preventive/ mitigative/ restrictive actions under all Stages up to Stage-IV are underway, there is a likelihood of sustaining the improvement in AQI. The forecast by IMD/ IITM also does not indicate any steep degradation further.

The forecasts also indicated a significant improvement around November 5 and November 6, 2022, therefore, the sub-Committee while invoking Stage IV of the GRAP, decided to review the situation on November 6, 2022. (ANI)

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stubble burning in punjab

CAQM Reviews Implementation Of Directions To Restrict Stubble-Burning In Punjab

Reviewing the status of implementation of measures directed to restrict stubble burning in Punjab, the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) held a meeting with the Chief Secretary and Deputy Commissioners of 22 districts of Punjab except Pathankot (no farm fire incidents reported).

The primary focus of the review meeting was to assess the on-ground implementation of directions and reiterate the need for immediate intensification of actions to put a halt to the sudden spike in stubble-burning cases seen in the last few days in Punjab.
The Chief Secretary and Deputy Commissioners of the 22 districts of Punjab were reminded of their earlier commitments of drastically bringing the farm fire counts in 2022 as compared to last year.

The Deputy Commissioners of 10 districts namely Amritsar, Barnala, Bhatinda, Firozpur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Sangrur, Tarn Taran, and Patiala where more than 1,000 fire counts are reported, were specifically advised to pay special attention and focus on the implementation of the action plan.

During the review meeting, the Chief Secretary and Deputy Commissioners of the 22 districts of Punjab assured that they will put their best foot forward to substantially bring down the rising farm fire incidents in Punjab.

They also assured that a decline in stubble-burning incidents is expected to be seen in the coming days.

Stubble burning continued unabated in Punjab with the state reporting nearly 24,000 such cases so far, an official said on Friday.

The incidents of stubble burning have seen a rise in parts of Punjab this year in comparison to last year. However, the area of fields burnt has witnessed a drop of 1 percent so far.

Speaking to ANI over the phone, Senior Environmental Engineer of Punjab Pollution Control Board, Gurbakhshish Singh Gill said that 1,144 incidents of stubble burning have taken place in the state till Thursday and 24,146 such incidents in Punjab.

“We are working in coordination with the government. Efforts are on. Farmers are being sensitised. Our teams are monitoring the situation. We are hopeful of the situation being in our control this time,” he said earlier on Thursday.

He attributed various factors to the deterioration in the Air Quality Index (AQI).

“There are various factors responsible for the deteriorating AQI. Stubble burning is one of them, other is Diwali, transportation and other atmospheric conditions,” he said.

Speaking to ANI on Thursday, Deputy Commissioner of Bathinda, Showkat Ahmad Parray said, “Nearly 1,200 incidents have been reported till now. Last year, it was nearly 900 which has increased this time. But the data that comes to us is not right in itself because there is some period during which the satellite does not capture the incidents. So if there is stubble burning taking place during that period, such incidents are not reported to us,” he said.

Pollution has risen in Delhi where the AQI remained in the ‘severe’ category for the second consecutive day. Stubble burning has contributed to 34 percent of Delhi’s PM 2.5 pollution.

On Friday morning the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city jumped to 472. Noida, which is part of the national capital region, recorded an AQI of 562, and continued to remain in the ‘severe’ category, while Gurugram’s AQI stood at 539 and continued to remain in the ‘severe’, as per data released by SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) India.

Air Quality Index from 0 to 100 is considered as good, while from 100 to 200 it is moderate, from 200 to 300 it is poor, and from 300 to 400 it is said to be very poor and from 400 to 500 or above it is considered as severe. (ANI)

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Piyush Goyal Lashes out at AAP

Failing On Every Front: Goyal Lashes Out At AAP

Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday lashed out at the Aad Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the national capital, accusing it of ‘failing on every front.

Amid the escalating war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the AAP over the fast declining air quality in Delhi, the senior BJP leader claimed that the ‘hollow propaganda’ of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party had been exposed and the people were saddened by the government’s failed promises.
Goyal said the people will give a fitting reply to the AAP government’s failed promises in the upcoming electoral battles. Buoyed by its resounding mandate in Punjab, the Kejriwal-led party will contest the upcoming Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat in a bid to extend its national footprint.

Speaking to ANI, the union commerce minister said, “Delhi government is failing on every front. The people will give a befitting reply to this. The people of Delhi are saddened by the hollow propaganda.”

The senior BJP leader claimed that the people in the national capital are determined to bring his party back to power not only at the Centre but also in Delhi in the next Assembly elections. “The people of Delhi have made up their minds to bring the BJP back to power at the Centre and the union territory. We are all set to come back to power,” Goyal said.

The BJP and the AAP are currently embroiled in a blame game on the worsening air quality in Delhi, which the former has blamed on alleged rising incidents of stubble burning in Punjab.

However, the AAP hit back claiming that Punjab was being singled out when other states, including the BJP-ruled Haryana, were also to blame for the prevailing situation. In a joint press conference with Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday, Kejriwal said stubble burning was a ‘North Indian problem’ and the central government needs to step in and find a sustainable solution to the problem.

The BJP had earlier accused Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia of corruption in rolling out the new liquor policy. While Sisodia is facing a probe by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the CBI, the new liquor policy has since been rolled back and the old policy restored.

The AAP had, however, denied any foul play and accused the BJP-led Centre of a witchhunt against Sisodia. (ANI)

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Hold your breath, folks! 'Emergency' in Delhi air

Also Read A problem that refuses to go away

“At present, the wind speed is a low 1.8 miles per second. The winds blowing from the north have helped in the temperature drop,” an official at the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) told IANS. On Thursday, major pollutant PM2.5 (particles suspended in air with diameter less than 2.5 micrometers) was above 300 units across the NCR, with Vasundhara in Ghaziabad and Anand Vihar in east Delhi the most polluted areas.
More Clean air only if Modi & Kejriwal join hands

According to data from the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, PM2.5 concentration at Anand Vihar at 3 p.m. on Thursday was 491 units and at Ghaziabad 550 units — 19 to 22 times higher than the international standards. Air quality is designated severe plus or emergency if PM2.5 concentration is above 300 units or PM10 is above 500 units. The international safe limit for PM2.5 is 25 microgrammes per cubic metre as against the national standard of 60 units.
Act now for improved air quality in 15-20 years

If the air quality situation prevails for more than 48 hours with either of the two major pollutants (PM2.5 and PM10) above the red mark, the Supreme court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority brings in severe plus category restrictions under the graded response action plan. The curbs include a ban on the entry of trucks and construction activities in the city, implementation of odd-even road rationing scheme and closure of schools. (IANS)

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Green panel castigates Delhi govt on pollution

The National Green Tribunal on Monday pulled up the Delhi government for its “lackadaisical” approach over rising pollution levels in the city, a day after bad air quality plaguing the capital for several weeks interrupted play during the ongoing Test match between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium here.

The tribunal chairperson, Justice Swatanter Kumar, in his sharp remarks rapped the authorities for allowing the match in the city despite bad air quality. “Every newspaper has been carrying headline that the air pollution was going to be higher this week. Still, you took no action. Even the players were playing the match wearing masks. You should not have held the match if the air quality was so bad. Are people of Delhi supposed to bear this?” Kumar said. Kumar lashed out at the government for not filing a comprehensive action plan on how to battle the rising air pollution despite the green court’s specific order on November 28, asking the authorities in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to submit their proposals on curbing bad air quality. The governments in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan have already filed their action plans with the tribunal. The Delhi government sought more time on the contention that its Chief Secretary and environment secretary were recently changed and the new officers needed to settle down to finalize the plan. But the court apparently was not impressed with the reason. “Where is your action plan? Why have you not submitted it? What can we do if you keep on changing everybody? It’s not our problem if people don’t want to stick to you. “You keep on doing meetings but tell us a single action or a step you have taken in the last four days to combat air pollution,” the court said. The court said that the government was adopting a “lackadaisical” approach in dealing with the situation even as pollution had crossed alarming levels in the city and directed it to file the report by Wednesday. Referring to the India-Sri Lanka Test match, which was stalled on Sunday after Lankans were said to have complained to match officials that they felt like vomiting due to poor air quality, the court said: “Look at people abandoning (the) match.” The visitors on Sunday wore face masks to combat smog pollution amid disruption in the third Test against India. Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas said his players had to come off the field after they felt like vomiting. The play, however, continued uninterrupted on Monday even as indicators showed pollution levels rising to “hazardous” levels. The overall air quality index in the capital was 375 – considered to be “very poor” and hazardous to health. The tribunal also pulled up the Delhi government for not introducing odd-even car rationing scheme at this point in time when the air quality was severe. “You want exemptions for two-wheelers but you don’t apply your mind that these 60 lakh vehicles cause the maximum pollution,” the court said. (IANS) // ]]>