AQI improves in Delhi, CPCB gears up for winters

NEW DELHI: The data released by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on 27 August, showed that Delhi hovered over satisfactory to moderate Air Quality Index (AQI) on 118 days between January 1, 2018 and August 26, 2018. This range of AQI was observed in 113 days of 2017 and 74 days in 2016, indicating the air quality improvement in 2018 compared to last two years. Number of days with poor, very poor and severe also decreased in three years – 153 in 2016, 125 in 2017 and 120 days till date in 2018.

CPCB officials say that the improvement is the result followed by the measures initiated in 2017 such as Greater Response Action Plan(GRAP), systematic reforms (like the ban on petcoke, furnace oil, permanent closing of Badarpur Thermal Power Plant in October), and the coordination between agencies and National Capital.
The present AQI at different parts of Delhi is better compared to the past. Different places in Delhi, like Dwarka has AQI 115, R.K. Puram with Moderate AQI 82,AnandVihar 151, Mundka 97, Shadipur 157. This betterment could be seen partly due to the monsoon and the improvement measures.

Making efforts to combat pollution and intensify the mitigating measures, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is identifying pollution hotspots in Delhi NCR. This will help to make the agencies working in those areas aware. It is drawing quadrant to measure areas with highest (particulate matter) PM 10, and lowest PM 2.5.
CPCB is putting new technologies in places, such as the vacuum cleaner-type, machine sucking particulate matter and release fresh air. Two years after Mumbai got these at the traffic junctions, 54 units will be installed at some busy traffic intersections in the city. CPCB will spend 2.65 crores for installing.

In preparation for the winter months, Wind Argument and Air Purifying Units (WAYU) will be placed at ITO, Anand Vihar, Wazirpur, Shadipur, BhikajiCama Place. The filtration units costing 20 lakhs will be placed in 30 buses of the city.

CPCB member-secretary Prashant Gargava said,“We have requested the Ministry of Earth Sciences and the IMD, to provide weekly advanced information and alert us of any impending dust storms, so that we can put in place measures to minimize exposure”. “We can intensify action to control our own emissions in that time.”

He added, that specific measures have been taken to control the stubble burning like the custom-hire-centre in Punjab and Haryana for the machines to provide proper management of the stubble. “The focus will be on more machines that will help minimise burning, remote sensing monitoring of where stubble is being burnt and more sensitisation and enforcement,”

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