Here's why the World Culture Festival will have a serious impact on Delhi's air quality - Firstpost
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Here's why the World Culture Festival will have a serious impact on Delhi's air quality

New Delhi: Despite the repeated claims of the Art of Living (AOL) about its commitment to protect ecology, the use of big diesel power generators during ongoing World Culture Festival (WCF) at Yamuna floodplains is expected to have serious impact on the air quality.

The organisers are using 92 generator sets for lighting and sound systems after the power discoms refused to provide them electricity. These power generators may create serious repercussions because of high emissions from them. Diesel is considered as one of the most polluting fuels because of having high sulphur content.

. Naresh Sharma/Firstpost

The World Culture Festival will have a serious impact on air quality. Naresh Sharma/Firstpost

“After discoms refused to provide us electricity, we were left with no option but to use generator sets. A total of 92 generators have been installed to power the vent,” Dinesh Ghodke, secretary to Sri Sri Ravishankar, told Firstpost.
Asked if they have taken care to reduce emission, he said, “We have hired soundless and eco-friendly generators to ensure relatively less emission to keep air clean. We are committed to follow all directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the DPCC.”

But Firstpost has learnt from sources that only three generator sets of 250 kVA (kilovolt-ampere), each being used for sound systems, are newer ones and follow CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) norms. The rest 89 generator sets, having power generation capacity of 500 kVA, are at least two years old and do not comply with the standards.

During the evening when all generators become operational, it becomes extremely difficult for anybody to stand in the vicinity because of the high emission at below the prescribed limit of five metres from the above surface of the canopy of the generator sets.

The emission from generator sets depends on their quality and age. “If they are within the permissible limit, the pollution will be relatively low. If they are crossing the permissible limit of sound and air pollution, then there is a serious problem. It is harmful for the ambient air as well as the people present there. Now, it is for the pollution control body to check what is happening because the NGT in its order has directed the DPCC, CPCB and Ministry of Environment and Forest that they must keep a watch on the pollution potential of the event. Whether they are doing it or not, it is for them to answer,” said environmental activist Manoj Mishra.

The organisers have been directed to set up air quality monitors, including noise level measurement equipments, during the event and two days after it at strategic locations to access the impact during and after the event. DPCC Member Secretary Kulanand Joshi was not available to confirm whether the arrangements for measurements of pollution level have been.

“If they (organisers) fail to do so and do not adhere to pollution norms, the DPCC will initiate actions against them,” said DPCC counsel B Mahapatra.

The DPCC has issued the following directions to the organiser and has asked to ensure compliance and send daily report to the chairman of the pollution control body “without fail”:

Sewage management

• Waste water from toilets and kitchens will be collected and transported through closed containers to sewage treatment plants.
• In no case, waste water either from kitchen or toilet or any other source shall be disposed off directly or indirectly into the Yamuna.

Solid waste

• Adequate number of litter bins shall be provided and cleaned periodically. The collected garbage shall be transported in closed containers at designated sites and this shall be executed with due permission of respective municipal corporations.
• No litter should be disposed off in river or on the bank.
• Post event the entire area should be free from waste.

Air quality

• For suppression of dust, water sprinkling should be done on unpaved roads but avoid flooding.
• Diesel generation sets shall comply with standards. The diesel used shall be properly stored and should not be spilled.
• Arrangements shall be provided for monitoring of PM 10 and PM 2.5 as well as the noise levels as per the locations finalised by the DPCC for measurements.

Sources of water

• Extraction of ground water should be done in accordance with permission granted. Log book has to be maintained for quantity of water extracted.
• Event manager shall not release any enzyme in the river or other water bodies.

Other aspects

• DDA shall ensure that after event, the entire area should be cordoned, fenced and no encroachment shall be permitted.
• DDA shall take steps to maintain the greenery of the area and will develop a biodiversity park.

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