Photo, Source- Vox
By Divya Sinha :
To tackle rising levels of pollution in Delhi, the State Government of Delhi started “Odd-Even Scheme” from 4th November till 15th November. The violators of this scheme had to pay a fine of Rs 4,000 and a total of 532 violators were challan on the first day of the scheme but the situation is still worse. A decision on extending the odd-even scheme in Delhi will be taken on Monday, said Arvind Kejriwal.
India’s capital is in a very bad condition. The AQI (Air Quality Index) of Delhi is getting worse. In NCR, the AQI crossed the 500-mark, putting the region in the ‘severe plus’ category. People are suffering from breathing problems; cough etc and it is affecting their health badly. All the schools in Delhi were closed until 15th November because of the rising pollution level.
The main reason for this poor AQI is because of the growing pollution in Delhi and stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana. Not just stubble burning, many migrant laborers in Punjab and Haryana and NCR do not have access cylinders or gas supply so they collect wood and twigs and they use them to cook food. This also causes a lot of pollution. Another reason is the burning of garbage waste. The waste management system in Delhi and many parts of India is very poor. People burn the heaps of dry leaves and garbage which causes a lot of pollution.
The Government of Punjab and Haryana have announced a bonus of Rs 2,500 an acre for small and marginal farmers who are yet to start such activity. This decision was taken after the Supreme Court’s guideline to incentivize farmers to stop the stubble burning and checking air pollution.
The pollution is not only a problem is Delhi NCR but also in its neighbouring states which are Punjab and Haryana and part of UP. According to an article by News18, Haryana’s Hisar and Bhiwani reported the worst air quality as their AQIs stood at 470 each (severe category). Neighbouring Punjab witnessed air quality in “very poor” and “poor” categories. Amritsar’s AQI was 362, followed by Bathinda (333), Patiala (285) and Jalandhar (276), as per the data provided by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Improving the air quality of Delhi NCR still remains a challenge for the government but there is hope that the air quality will improve now that the governments of Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana are taking active measures to control pollution levels.