Clarify contribution of stubble burning to Delhi’s air pollution: Rai to Centre
Gopal Rai, the environment minister of Delhi, asked the Centre on Tuesday to clarify the precise contribution of stubble burning to New Delhi’s air pollution, a day after the Supreme Court pulled up his government for “passing the buck” and the union government for failing to propose “drastic measures.”
This comes after the Centre filed an affidavit in court on Monday claiming that the contribution was only 4%. “On Monday, there was a major dispute among experts and portions of the media about how much stubble burning contributes to Delhi’s PM 2.5 concentration. While one piece of the document claims that stubble burning contributes 4 percent to Delhi, another section claims that it contributes 35-40 percent. “Either the 4% or the 40% figure is correct,” Gopal Rai explained.
He requested Bhupender Yadav, the Union Environment Minister, to look into the contribution and clarify the precise figure so that corrective action may be taken. Rai released daily statistics from the Union Earth Sciences Ministry’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research on the contribution of stubble burning to Delhi’s PM 2.5. Between November 4 and November 14, the average contribution of farm fires was roughly 31%, according to him. “Since this body is likewise under the control of the federal government, which figure is correct?”
He went on to say that a specific team formed to deal with a 4% contribution will work differently than one formed to deal with a 40% contribution. “I beg that the minister (Yadav) look into this subject and provide clarity to everyone.”
On Monday, the Supreme Court ordered the government to convene an emergency conference on air pollution on Tuesday. According to Rai, at a meeting of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in the NCR, the Delhi government proposed imposing work-from-home policies across the NCR, as well as a construction moratorium. He went on to say that the Delhi administration has considered shutting down factories if necessary. “We have prohibited construction operations in Delhi, but we have requested the commission to extend this prohibition to the entire NCR.” Similarly to Delhi, all government offices in the NCR allow employees to work from home.” The CAQM’s final conclusions, according to Gopal Rai, are still pending.
“Other states also shared their thoughts at the meeting. We are currently waiting for the final minutes of the meeting and the decisions that have been taken. We hope a joint action plan can come out, which can be implemented across NCR.”
The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the states of the National Capital Region were doing nothing to address what has become an annual public health crisis.
As part of its attempts to control local sources of pollution, Rai said the Delhi government will launch phase two of the “Red Light On, Gaadi Off” campaign on November 19. The campaign’s first phase took place between October 18 and November 18. “We’ve chosen to extend the campaign due to the poor air quality.” The campaign’s second phase will last 15 days.”
At 2 p.m., the air quality in New Delhi had deteriorated to the “severe” category, with an AQI of 404. According to the 4 p.m. bulletin, the AQI on Monday was 353 (extremely poor).Even during the day, low wind speeds in Delhi trapped pollutants and prevented them from dispersing.