#DelhiAirPollution: It's hazardous now

#DelhiAirPollution | “Newborn gulps air equal to 25 cigarettes”: Warning on Delhi smog crisis https://t.co/e1aavnb8hA pic.twitter.com/Wk99xUFAzD

— NDTV (@ndtv) November 5, 2018 It has launched an aggressive 10-day ‘Clean Air Campaign’ from November 1 to monitor and report polluting activities and ordered halting of construction activities and regulating vehicular traffic. Civil construction has been suspended in Delhi and surrounding areas of the National Capital Region. All stone crushers and hot mix plants generating dust pollution have also been closed. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee has directed the transport department and the traffic police to intensify their drive against polluting vehicles until November 10. Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday that no leniency would be shown to those who are violating pollution-control norms. He again warned that legal actions were being initiated against people violating regulations. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has blamed stubble-burning in Punjab as the main reason behind the current cycle of air pollution in Delhi. On Sunday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh termed his claim “nonsense”. But NASA registered a large number of fire counts in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Sirsa and other areas of Punjab and Haryana. Also, enforcement data provide in response to an RTI query by activist activist Deepak Juneja has showed that despite the Delhi government deregistering 40 lakh old vehicles to curb air pollution, only 3,196 vehicles have been impounded, which is less than 1 per cent of the total. Two agencies are responsible for enforcing the ban on 15-year old petrol vehicles and 10-year old diesel vehicles imposed by the National Green Tribunal in 2014 Delhi traffic police and transport department of the Delhi government. (PTI)]]>

Gas Chamber: Mayur Sharma saw it coming

Winter is no longer the sole season of despair in the Capital and its NCR hinterland, home to 46 million living and breathing human beings, as much as all of Spain.  Some people, however, didn’t wait to find out. Celebrity food enthusiast Mayur Sharma was one, quitting the city he was born and lived in for clean air. His story:  

It’s been around a year and I think this is the best decision I have ever made. We had been thinking about leaving Delhi for a long time but it was in the pollution-shock winter of 2016 that we pulled our kids from school and and lived in Goa for the three months — November, December, January — when the air was really bad. We moved to a rented house in Goa. Moving even for three months was not an easy task as we had to uproot ourselves. We took the decision that at least my wife and children are going to move out of this gas chamber, move to a cleaner environment for a period of two to three months till January when the air is really bad. We came back here after that because the kids had to finish school. However, after returning to Delhi, we came to the decision that it was time to say bye to this city. And in August 2017, we finally moved. My kids were very young – the older one in Class 3 and the younger in Class 1. They had a lot of friends in the neighbourhood and were very young – born, brought up and started schooling here and us too – though we grew up in a different Delhi. I was leaving a house I’d stayed in since 1976, which I shared with my parents. We had quite a life here but then there – in Goa – when you breathe the clean air and drive through the lush green fields, you know it is different. So yeah, I was very happy with my decision. Though, it invariably meant a lot of travelling for me. But I was anyway doing it – just added a bit more to it. A lot of our friends are already inquiring about it – four or five couples that I know have already moved. And more of them are considering it – things are slowly gaining pace in Goa. There are lot of good school options there – our focus was not that – oh, we can’t move because education might suffer but that is not a concern anymore. Delhi is my city – I was born here, I grew up here, I wish I could be there for it. I mean, the right to breathe is the most fundamental right more than food, more than water. And that right is being seriously compromised right now. I know of people who have started a whatsapp group and share concerns about the city. I know the government, the administration; the people want to do something for the city and focusing on it and making it a big deal – which it is – so I know all hope is not lost. But I don’t think I will want to come back to this city. Even if the government takes an initiative and cleans it nice some day, it will be difficult coming back. There is not just one issue – there are several. Corruption, there is no option for school, safety – they are equally important. There are multiple practical solutions and they have been debated to death in the last few years. I have seen some very sensible people talk about it but they have to be implemented. Vested interests have to be kept aside as I believe everything is possible you if you get down to doing it.

More from the Gas Chamber 

‘Delhi gave me lasting eye damage’

‘Delhi’s air is killing us all’

-With Lokmarg]]>