India Diwali: Delhi acts against pollution menace

0
29
India Diwali: Delhi acts against pollution menace


Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Authorities crack down on pollution in Delhi a few days before the festival of Diwali

India’s capital is enacting a plan to combat hazardous smog, as air pollution in Delhi hits “very severe” levels.

The plan, which includes traffic restrictions and the shutdown of a major power plant, was announced after Delhi saw severe pollution last year.

The measures, which were ordered by a Supreme Court mandated panel, come days before the Hindu festival of Diwali.

The court has already banned the sale and distribution of fireworks in Delhi ahead of the festival of Diwali.

Diwali, the most important Hindu festival in north India, celebrates the victory of good over evil.

However in the last few years, celebrations have seen air pollution rise to hazardous levels after many firecrackers were set off.

The winter months in Delhi already see high pollution levels due to farmers in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana burning stubble to clear their fields, and the burning of rubbish in the city.

These are some of the major changes that have come into effect:

A major power plant will be shut until 15 March

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Smoke billows from the Badarpur power plant in Delhi

The Badarpur power plant, located in south Delhi, will be closed until March 2018 before permanently shutting down in July 2018.

According to a 2015 study by the Centre for Science and Environment, it is the most polluting power plant in India.

The plant contributed just 8% of the city’s electric power but produced more than 80% of Delhi’s particulate matter pollution from the energy sector.

It was shut down temporarily last November to alleviate air quality during the Delhi smog but was reopened in March this year.

Officials told reporters that the plant was supposed to close on 15 October, but that was delayed as it was supplying power to the stadium hosting Fifa under-17 World Cup matches in Delhi.

The panel will also monitor emissions from power plants located close to the city.

Restrictions on vehicles

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

If pollution worsens, parking rates within the city could see a price hike

Vehicular emission is one of the main reasons for air pollution in Delhi, and there have also been past efforts to discourage people from using private cars.

The panel has said that if air pollution worsens further, parking rates inside the city will see a fourfold increase. It currently costs about 20 rupees an hour ($0.30; £0.20) to use municipal car parks.

It may also bring back a car rationing scheme which will see cars with even and odd number plates only being allowed on alternate days.

The panel has said it will also look at increasing the frequency of the city’s metro trains and buses.

A ban on private generators

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Surging pollution levels last year led to a shortage of face masks in the city.

Diesel generators are often utilised by private homeowners and businesses in an effort to combat Delhi’s often erratic power supply.

Many of them are, however, poorly maintained which causes them to emit large amounts of smoke and fumes.

The measure, which will be in place until March, is likely to have an impact on weddings, which often use generators to power lights and music for celebration.

Several small business owners have told reporters that they are unhappy with the decision.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionThe BBC’s Justin Rowlatt uses an air pollution level monitor to show just how polluted Delhi was in 2015



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here