Delhi Air Pollution Updates: NGT recommends compensation to daily-wage workers after SC bans construction, demolition activities in National Capital

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Delhi Air Pollution Updates: NGT recommends compensation to daily-wage workers after SC bans construction, demolition activities in National Capital
  • 17:16 (IST)

    What to do to reduce the effect of air pollution:

    1) Drink more water to flush out toxins and harmful particles from the body. Incorporate fruits like lemon, gooseberries, oranges, etc in your diet to make it rich with Vitamin C content. Citrus fruits can help boost your immunity and reduce the overall effects of air pollution on your body.

    2) Inculcate the habit of carpooling with friends and colleagues or people travelling on the same route to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

    3) Get your home a few air-purifying plants like tulsi, aloe vera, money plant, spider plants etc. These help in clearing the air of carcinogens (cancer-causing agent) including benzene and formaldehyde.

    4) It is advised that a person covers their face, wears bandanas, glasses, hand gloves and focuses on protective clothing before heading out in open.

    5) Children, elderly people and those who are more prone to allergies are recommended to get ‘flu shots’

    Read entire report here

  • 17:05 (IST)

    Pollution levels likely to drop with increase in wind-speed

    The pollution levels in are expected to drop on Tuesday after a massive spike last week. The reduction is likely due to an increase in wind speed even as air quality (AQI) remained in the 'very poor' category in the morning. According to the MeT department, there is a possibility of strong winds in the next 24 hours.

    On Sunday, pollution levels peaked to a three-year high (494), and on Monday, the city's air quality index at 4 pm read 407. It dipped further and at 8.30 pm on Monday, the AQI stood at 370, which falls in the "very poor" category.

  • 16:40 (IST)

    NGT recommends compensation for daily-wage labourers after ban on construction activities

    The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday recommended to the Centre that a stipend or compensation be given to daily-wage labourers who have become unemployed as a result of the ban on construction activities to bring down the severe pollution levels in Delhi.

    "Huge welfare funds are lying unused under the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act. Can there be some stipend when construction is stopped?" a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said.

    The green panel said daily-wage workers who depend on construction sites to make a living are worst sufferers of the ban on construction activities as they have been rendered jobless.

  • 16:32 (IST)

    2,000 volunteers deployed to implement Odd-Even scheme on Monday

    Two thousand civil defence volunteers, 465 teams of the Delhi traffic police, revenue, and transport departments were deployed on Monday, to implement the Odd-Even scheme in a bid to curb air pollution in Delhi. The scheme will end on 15 November.

  • 16:21 (IST)

    259 violaters fined on Monday

    On Monday, which was the first day of the implementation of the Odd-Even scheme to combat rising pollution in Delhi, as many as 259 violaters were fined Rs 4,000, including BJP leader Vijay Goel who, in a "symbolic protest", drove his odd number SUV from his residence at Ashoka Road to Janpath.

  • 16:04 (IST)

    Kailash Gahlot monitors second day of Odd-Even scheme

    The odd-even scheme entered its second day on Tuesday as Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot monitored its implementation and said he is happy to see odd-numbered vehicles on the city roads. The transport minister visited several places to monitor the enforcement of the road rationing scheme that allows vehicles with odd and even number plates to ply on alternate days.

    "#OddEven 2nd Day: Happy to see Odd Number vehicles on Delhi Roads," Gahlot said in a tweet. In another tweet, the transport minister said, "We all should encourage car pooling/sharing."

  • 15:56 (IST)

    PMO sets up panel to monitor Delhi air pollution 

    The Prime Minister's Office has reportedly set up a panel to monitor the increasing levels of air pollution in Delhi a day after the Supreme Court took note of the crisis facing the residents of the National Capital for the last week or so. The apex court came down heavily on various authorities, and state governments and the Centre.

    The panel will be headed by NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar, Economic Times reported. Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) K Vijay Raghavan and Tarun Khanna of the Harvard Business School, Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar and major general Madhuri Kanitkar are members of the panel.

    The panel will submit a report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in two weeks, the report said.

  • 15:15 (IST)

    List of guidelines to be protected from rising pollution levels

    With the high levels of pollutants in the air, it is time Delhiites considered following some precautions to shield themselves from the hazardous weather. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has tweeted a list of guidelines for residents of Delhi that are aimed at protecting them from the rising pollution level.

    List of things to avoid doing:

    1) Avoid strenuous activities and hard labour, as this forces one to inhale more and thus take in more harmful pollutants. If you have to exercise, avoid going out in the morning when the pollutants are at maximum in the air. Restrict your workout to your home or your neighborhood gym instead of going out.

    2) Do not step out without wearing a reliable anti-pollution mask that can shield you from harmful pollutants floating in the air. Do not use surgical masks and comfort masks as they do not qualify to protect you from the hazardous particles. Buy the ones that are infused with latest filters and respirators.

    3) Do not burn garbage, plastics and other discarded items in the outdoors. Stop neighbours from burning any such items either.

    4) Do not use the bigger roads with more traffic. Pollution is relatively less on smaller roads than on main roads.

    5) Avoid using agarbattis, mosquito repellent sprays or using camphor inside your home.

  • 14:57 (IST)

    Actions taken by us deficient, need to step up efforts to fight pollution in Delhi: state govt tells NGT

    The Delhi government on Tuesday told the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that actions taken by it were "deficient" and more steps need to be taken to tackle air pollution in the National Capital.

    "Coordinated actions of enforcement have been done in the last four months. We feel that the actions taken by us are deficient. We need to take more steps," Delhi Chief Secretary, Vijay Kumar Dev told the tribunal.

    The tribunal was examining the status of implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) and other measures adopted to control air pollution. For this purpose, it had asked the Delhi Chief Secretary to appear before it on Tuesday.

  • 14:50 (IST)

    A look at Delhi-NCR region's deteriorating air quality: 

    Pollution levels in the national capital are expected to drop on Tuesday due to an increase in wind speed even as air quality remained in the 'very poor' category in the morning.

    Let's take a look at a day-by-day account of NCR’s worsening air quality between October and November 2019. 

  • 14:27 (IST)

    Narendra Modi chairs meeting to discuss pollution in Delhi-NCR region 

    Owing to the deteriorating pollution levels in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday chaired a meeting in which the situation in various parts of Northern India was discussed. 

    "The prime minister also reviewed the situation arising due to cyclone conditions in western parts of the country," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted. 

  • 13:53 (IST)

    Ample evidence to show Odd-Even is effective: Delhi transport minister after SC seeks data to show effectiveness of scheme 

    Responding to Supreme Court's remarks about the rationale of Arvind Kejriwal-led government's Odd-Even scheme, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot on Monday suggested that there was ample evidence to show that the scheme was effective in tackling pollution.

    Speaking to ANI, Gehlot said, "There are reports and data by reputed international organisations who work on air quality and pollution. Even an IIT report says that pollution gets reduced. We are simply saying that if you reduce 50 percent of vehicles from the roads of Delhi, then definitely, things will improve."

    The Supreme Court on Monday had asked Delhi government for data proving that the scheme was effective in tackling pollution.

    ANI

  • 13:47 (IST)

    Instead of just dealing with problem there has to be a holistic approach: NGT tells Centre on Delhi pollution 

    The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday asked the Centre to come up with the best solution to tackle pollution and adopt a holistic approach to deal with the issue.

    The tribunal was examining the status of implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) and other measures adopted to control air pollution. It had asked the Delhi Chief Secretary, Delhi Pollution Control Committee chairperson, Central Pollution Control Board member secretary and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change joint secretary to appear before it on Tuesday.

    Pulling up the central government, the green tribunal said, "Why has the government not been able to work out a system for prevention? The steps taken in an emergency situation is like disaster management. Instead of just dealing with the problem there has to be a holistic approach. Methods need to be revisited."

  • 13:09 (IST)

    Delhi air quality improves despite this year's highest-ever count of stubble burning incidents: SAFAR

    The Air Quality Index is back to 'very poor' as predicted after rapidly recovering from 'severe', largely due to faster boundary layer wind speed (40 kmph) to flush it out, SAFAR reported.

    In spite of the fact that biomass fire counts observed on 4 November were highest of the season (4,962) combined with the north-westerly winds (coming from biomass fire areas towards the national capital), the Delhi air quality was least affected and continued to recover.

    This was mainly due to high transport-level wind speed which rapidly passed over Delhi without descending and then getting dissipated, having a short residence time. This meant that the brunt of the high count of biomass fires was born only by the farther regions of NCR, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) reported. 

  • 12:57 (IST)

    Can Delhi's air pollution reach Chennai?

    As Chennai’s citizens woke up to hazy skies on Monday morning, there were reports that the particulate matter over Delhi skies have drifted over to the southern Indian metropolitan city. Dispersion models like SILAM (System for Integrated modelling of Atmospheric Composition) indicated that plumes of smoke were traveling east from Delhi into the Bay of Bengal, and from there blowing into Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu. 

    However, IMD has categorically denied such a possibility, stating that the appearance of haze in Chennai to have any connection to the pollution in the national capital. 

    “The cold air is coming in and there is no wind circulation. The temperature is also not high. So, when moisture comes in from the sea, it mixes with the existing pollutants in the atmosphere and causes haze. When temperature rises, the smog will go away. There is no relation between the Delhi pollution and what we see here,”  N Puviyarasan, the Director of Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai said

  • 12:48 (IST)

    Abhishek Manu Singhvi suggests establishing multiple capitals as Delhi chokes due to heavy vehicular pollution

    With Delhi enveloped in thick smog, Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi on Monday suggested separate capitals for the country and named Amravati and Ranchi in this regard.
     
     
    Singhvi was suggesting a solution of having two or four capitals as Delhi's pollution levels are manifold times higher than the normal permissible limits and common people were having problems.
     
     
    "This entire choking of Delhi makes me see what is happening around the world. Indonesia is shifting it's capital. Australia has Canberra for smooth admin functioning only. Why not have two to four capitals in India?" Singhvi asked on Twitter.

  • 12:44 (IST)

    Delhi AQI improves marginally as temperature rises through the day

    Real time data of Air Quality Index being recorded at various pollution measurement stations across National Capital indicates that the AQI has nomically increased as the temperature rose through the day. At the US Embassy, the AQI was recorded at 238 (Very unhealthy) as compared to an early morning value of 420 at around 6 am. 

  • 12:27 (IST)

    29 farmers fined Rs 2,500 each for stubble burning in Muzaffarnagar

     
    Authorities in Uttar Pradesh's Shamli district have imposed a fine of Rs 2,500 each on 29 farmers for allegedly burning crop residue in their fields, officials said on Tuesday.
     
    Additional District Magistrate Arvind Singh told the media in Muzaffarnagar that the district authorities had cautioned farmers against stubble burning, which is a cause of pollution.

  • 12:03 (IST)

    We provided 50,000 machines to different states: Centre briefs NGT on pollution 

    Briefing the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in a meeting summoned by the green tribunal, Centre claimed to have offered Rs 1,150 crores to different states and 14,000 machines in 2018 in a bid to combat pollution and make the environment greener.

    This year, the Central Government claims to have doled out 50,000 machines to different states. 

  • 11:44 (IST)

    What do you mean by Air Quality Index?

    The air quantity index is a way to measure air pollution levels. It takes into account five chief pollutants including PM10 ​(smaller than 10 micrometers) and PM2.5 (smaller than 2.5 micrometers). 

    Air pollution is said to reach emergency levels when PM2.5 levels cross 300 µg/m3 or PM10 ) levels cross 500 µg/m3. PM or particulate matter are small particles that embed themselves into the human body and cause a host of health-related issues.

    An AQI between 401 and 500 is considered 'severe' and anything beyond 500 is 'severe-plus emergency'.

  • 11:32 (IST)

    Strong winds in next 24 hours likely to cause dip in pollution levels: MeT 

     
    Pollution levels in the national capital are expected to drop on Tuesday due to an increase in wind speed even as air quality remained in the 'very poor' category in the morning.
     
    According to the Meteorological (MeT) department, there is a possibility of strong winds in the next 24 hours.
     
    At 9.44 am, Delhi's air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 365. The AQI at ​Vivek Vihar, Anand Vihar and ITO metro station were registered at 410, 395 and 382 respectively

  • 11:21 (IST)

    'BJP wants to do politics, has no solution to problem': AAP hits out at saffron party for politicising Delhi pollution 

    With the rolling out of Arvind Kejriwal-led government's road rationing scheme on Monday, the BJP and AAP accused each other of politicising the deteriorating air quality situation, thereby not doing enough to curb the rising pollution.

    BJP leader Vijay Goel termed the initiative "an election stunt" by Kejriwal's government. His action invited a rebuke from the Delhi chief minister, who was "pained by this behaviour".

    Hitting out at Goel, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the BJP leader's job was to do politics, but he has no solution to the problem.

  • 11:08 (IST)

    BJP MLA  writes to Narendra Modi over Delhi pollution, urges to step up measures 

    In a bid to reduce air pollution in the Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) region, Nand Kishor Gurjar, a BJP MLA from Loni, Ghaziabad has written to Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi and urged him to sprinkle water with the assistance of Air Force and induce artificial rain.

  • 10:47 (IST)

    Cyclone Maha, fresh western disturbance likely to improve situation, predicts IMD 

    The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said Cyclone Maha and a western disturbance will cause rainfall in parts of the northern plains, covering Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh and Delhi-NCR, on Wednesday and Thursday which is likely to improve the pollution levels. 

    Till Monday evening, with winds gusting up to 20 kilometres per hour dispersing pollutants faster, the visibility level has improved to 2,000 metres.

  • 10:36 (IST)

    First day of AAP govt's odd-even scheme saw 260 challans issued across National Capital

    On the first day of the Arvind Kejriwal-led government's 12-day Odd-Even scheme on Monday, as many as 260 challans were issued and violators — including BJP leader Vijay Goel who violated the rule by driving an SUV with an odd last digit in its registration number — were fined Rs 4,000.

  • 10:15 (IST)

    Pollution levels register dip; AQI touches 369 at 9 am 

    Some relief for Delhiites after the average air quality index (AQI) has shown considerable improvement on Tuesday morning. The dip in the pollution level continued and AQI hit 369 at 9 am latest. 

    Reports showed that the air quality in the Delhi-NCR had infact improved after the rollout of the AAP government's road rationing scheme on Monday. An increase in wind speed was also expected to help clear the haze that had formed over the National Capital.

    On Monday, a day after pollution levels peaked to a three-year high (494), in a much-anticipated move, the city's air quality improved, and the AQI was recorded as 407 at 4 pm. It dipped further and at 8.30 pm when the AQI stood at 370, which falls in the "very poor" category.

  • 09:51 (IST)

    Delhi pollution level dips to 'very poor category' from 'severe' after increased wind speed, AAP govt's odd-Even scheme

    The pollution levels in Delhi have shown slight improvement by moving from "severe" to "very poor" category, with an increase in wind speed which reduced the noxious haze that obscured Delhi's skies for around a week.
     
    A day after pollution levels peaked to a three-year high (494), the city's air quality index at 4 pm on Monday read 407. It dipped further and at 8.30 pm, when the AQI stood at 370, which falls in the "very poor" category.
     
    The relief came as the number of vehicles on Delhi roads came down significantly with the AAP government rolling out its car rationing scheme.
     
    "Though there is a significant, visible change in pollution levels, the national capital's air quality index remained in the "severe" category till 4 pm. This is because the AQI reading at any given time is an average of AQIs recorded in the previous 24 hours," CPCB's former air lab chief Dipankar Saha said.
     

  • 09:42 (IST)

    In a bid to improve pollution levels in Delhi-NCR, SC orders halt in construction activities 

    The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the state governments of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, and the Centre for the surge in pollution levels in the National Capital.

    The apex court issued directions to Delhi-NCR to stop construction, demolition and garbage burning activities in the region and asked the Delhi government to prove that its odd-even scheme for vehicles had reduced pollution. 

    Apart from this, the court has also ordered Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments to refrain from instances of stubble burning.
      

  • 09:34 (IST)

    Green tribunal blames 'negligence' by authorities for Delhi pollution, summons officials at 10.30 am  

    Taking cognisance of the deteriorating air quality in Delhi-NCR, the National Green Tribunal on Monday blamed continuous negligence by authorities for high pollution levels and summoned officials from the Delhi government, Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and Ministry of Environment and Forests for a meeting on Tuesday.

    The bench of NGT chairperson Justice AK Goel, after an in-chamber proceeding, ordered Delhi chief secretary, DPCC chairman, member secretary of CPCB and concerned secretary to MoEF to assemble at 10.30 am.

Delhi Air Pollution LATEST Updates: The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday recommended to the Centre that a stipend or compensation be given to daily-wage labourers who have become unemployed as a result of the ban on construction activities to bring down the severe pollution levels in Delhi.

"Huge welfare funds are lying unused under the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act. Can there be some stipend when construction is stopped?" a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said.

The green panel said daily-wage workers who depend on construction sites to make a living are worst sufferers of the ban on construction activities as they have been rendered jobless.

The Prime Minister's Office has reportedly set up a panel to monitor the increasing levels of air pollution in Delhi a day after the Supreme Court took note of the crisis facing the residents of the National Capital for the last week or so. The apex court came down heavily on various authorities, and state governments and the Centre.

The panel will be headed by NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar, Economic Times reported. Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) K Vijay Raghavan and Tarun Khanna of the Harvard Business School, Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar and major general Madhuri Kanitkar are members of the panel.

The panel will submit a report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in two weeks, the report said.

The Delhi government on Tuesday told the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that actions taken by it were "deficient" and more steps need to be taken to tackle air pollution in the National Capital.

"Coordinated actions of enforcement have been done in the last four months. We feel that the actions taken by us are deficient. We need to take more steps," Delhi Chief Secretary, Vijay Kumar Dev told the tribunal.

Responding to Supreme Court's remarks about the rationale of Arvind Kejriwal-led government's Odd-Even scheme, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot on Monday suggested that there was ample evidence to show that the scheme was effective in tackling pollution.

Speaking to ANI, Gehlot said, "There are reports and data by reputed international organisations who work on air quality and pollution. Even an IIT report says that pollution gets reduced. We are simply saying that if you reduce 50 percent of vehicles from the roads of Delhi, then definitely, things will improve."

Pollution levels in the national capital are expected to drop on Tuesday due to an increase in wind speed even as air quality remained in the 'very poor' category in the morning. According to the Meteorological (MeT) department, there is a possibility of strong winds in the next 24 hours.

On the first day of the Arvind Kejriwal-led government's 12-day Odd-Even scheme on Monday, as many as 260 challans were issued and violators — including BJP leader Vijay Goel who violated the rule by driving an SUV with an odd last digit in its registration number — were fined Rs 4,000.

Some relief for Delhiites after the average air quality index (AQI) has shown considerable improvement on Tuesday morning. The dip in the pollution level continued and AQI hit 369 at 9 am latest.

The pollution levels in Delhi have shown slight improvement by moving from "severe" to "very poor" category, with an increase in wind speed which reduced the noxious haze that obscured Delhi's skies for around a week.

Congress leader Ajay Maken on Monday criticised BJP MP Vijay Goel for flouting the Odd-Even scheme implemented in Delhi from Monday onwards to curb the rising levels of pollution in the National Capital Region.

Maken accused Goel of "deliberately" driving an odd-numbered car on a day stipulated for even-numbered vehicles and questioned him on breaking the law despite being a "lawmaker".

A report by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) was quoted by The Times of India as saying that "scattered rainfall and a change in wind direction", likely to hit Delhi by 8 November, could "positively influence" the air quality index (AQI) in the National Capital Region.

While Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia cycled to work on Monday, the first day of the Odd-Even scheme taking effect in a bid to curb the increasing levels of pollution in the National Capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and health minister Satyendar Jain joined the trend of Delhi residents carpooling to work on Monday.

Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia claimed that the first day of the Odd- Even scheme was highly successful.

"People of Delhi have owned up the Odd-Even scheme. There has been high level of compliance till now. Total 192 challans have been issued today till now," ANI reported him as saying.  He also claimed that the air quality in the National Capital has improved during the day, with the levels of PM 2.5 recording a drastic fall.

The Supreme Court also instructed that a high powered committee of states shall meet on Monday and submit a report by Wednesday. The next hearing will take place on 6 November, reported ANI.

 The Supreme Court on Monday banned construction and demolition activities in the Delhi-NCR region as the increasing levels of pollution have choked the National Capital area for more than a week. Garbage burning will attract a fine of Rs 1 lakh and while Rs 5,000 will be fined for garbage dumping in Delhi-NCR.

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Delhi government to produce data or records to prove that the Odd-Even scheme has reduced pollution in Delhi, even though autos and taxis continue to ply the roads. The bench asked the Arvind Kejriwal government to produce the bills by Friday.

The Supreme Court, taking cognizance of the increasing pollution in the Delhi-NCR region, banned construction and demolition activities in the area until further orders. A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra also said that government officials would be hel personally accountable in case violation of the order. "Let all the industries which aren't necessary remain shut for the time being," the bench was quoted as saying by News18.

Justice Mishra asks the counsel for Delhi what has the Arvind Kejriwal government achieved from the Odd and Even scheme. "Diesel consumption is less and there is less pollution in Delhi. People will share vehicles," counsel tells the court. Justice Mishra to Delhi counsel, "What will you achieve? You are stopping private cars, but autos and taxis can ply... they will ply more and pollute equally. It would make sense of you were saying cars versus buses. The solution is single-person-use vehicles against mass-use vehicles." Justice Gupta adds to the argument and says, "You (Delhi) have only added some 100 buses to public transport. People don't even want to use Metros. The Metro to the Airport runs empty most of the time.

"Farmers cannot kill others for their own livelihood. We have no sympathy for farmers if they keep burning crop," observes Justice Mishra after EPCA chief Bhure Lal tells Supreme Court that all Chief secretaries should be held responsible.

Responding to the ministry of environment and forest in Supreme Court, ASG ANS Nadkarni informed the court that the fires "have been extinguished. The next step is to patrol the situation to ensure no more fires take place." The joint secretary, MoEF said, "Informers will be given awards if they report instances of fire." "Can this be left on informers," asked Justice Mishra. The judge further asked the secretary whether cloud seeding will help tackle the situation. "The meteorological department is the concerned department," the court was told.

The Supreme Court resumes hearing Delhi pollution. The Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) appears before the Supreme Court. Court asks for the immediate steps that can be taken and the roadmap to tackle air pollution in National Capital. The joint secretary says, "Stubble burning which contributes to the particulate matter needs to be stopped immediately. All steps indicated in case of severe plus pollution need to be taken. This includes stopping all construction activity, stopping crop burning in Punjab and Haryana. Satellite feed of active fires is sent to relevant and concerned authorities and magistrates asked to take steps."

Supreme Court adjourns the hearing on Delhi air pollution for half an hour. An environment expert from IIT Delhi and a representative from the concerned Ministry told to appear before the court in half an hour on the issue of immediate steps that can be taken to mitigate the toxic air in the National Capital, Bar and Bench reports.

Supreme Court has taken up the issue of pollution in the National Capital and other parts of North India. Justice Arun Mishra, while observing that this is "no way to live", also noted that the state machinery is also not functioning properly. "There is passing of buck... Delhi should do or Centre should do. And now, see pollution levels."

"Delhi is choking every year and we are not able to do anything. Every year this is happening for 10-15 day," said Justice Mishra. The hearing is underway.

BJP MP Vijay Goel got called out on social media for violating the Odd-Even scheme. Twitterati slammed Goel and said that while there is no concrete reason to believe that the scheme will help pollution in city, defying odd-even rules was worse. One user said it was not right to violate the norms especially when Delhi citizens are supporting it.

AAP leader Atishi lambasted BJP MP Vijay Goel for advertently violating the Odd-Even road rationing scheme relaunched by the Delhi government today. In a tweet, Atishi said, "On Diwali: BJP leaders distribute crackers; On stubble burning: BJP Environment Minister keeps cancelling meetings; On Odd-Even: BJP leaders violate rules."

Delhi Traffic Police stops BJP leader Vijay Goel's car as he was driving an odd-numbered car in protest against Delhi government's odd-even scheme. Police fine a traffic challan of Rs 4,000 for defying law. The BJP had left from his house in an odd-numbered car in protest against odd-even scheme. Goel says, "This scheme is just a gimmick, they (Delhi govenrment) themselves say pollution is due to stubble burning, then how does this scheme help? I am ready to pay the fine for violation" He also added that his protest is against the Arvind Kejriwal-led government.

As the odd-even scheme kicked in National Capital today, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter and urged autorickshawallahs and taxis not to overcharge passengers and support the odd-even scheme in the city.

The odd-even scheme in Delhi kicked in from 8am today as pollution levels peaked to a three-year high in the National Capital and a thick smog enveloped the city, prompting hundreds of distraught people to say they wanted to leave the city due to poor air quality. On Monday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) showed major pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 were both at 500 — in the 'severe' category.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the National Capital's 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) stood at 494 at 4pm on Sunday, the highest since November 6, 2016, when it was 497.

Amid a sharp dip in air quality in Delhi and surrounding regions, the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme is set to come into effect in the national capital from Monday.

The scheme applies to private cars and will be applicable from 4 to 15 November from 8 am to 8 pm. The rule will not be enforced on Sundays. Cars with numbers ending in an odd digit are allowed to ply on odd dates of the month and those with even digits ply on even dates.

 Delhi Air Pollution Updates: NGT recommends compensation to daily-wage workers after SC bans construction, demolition activities in National Capital

Representational image. Reuters

The scheme, introduced to combat the spike in air pollution, will be implemented for the third time in Delhi, after January and April 2016.

Exemptions

Two wheelers, vehicles carrying children in school uniform, people with disabilities, women driving alone, with other women or with children younger than 12 years and people travelling due to a medical emergency.

Commercial vehicles, including buses and cabs, running on CNG are exempted from the scheme. However, private CNG vehicles will not be exempted.

Among the VIPs exempted are the vehicles of the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, Speakers of the Lok Sabha, Union ministers, leaders of the Opposition of both the Houses, state governors, Supreme Court judges, judges of High Court, chairman of the UPSC, Chief Election Commissioners, the CAG, deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha and deputy speaker of Lok Sabha, the Lieutenant-General of Delhi, and members of the Lokayukta.

Vehicles of Defence and Enforcement authorities will also be exempt.

Penalty

The fine for violating the scheme will be Rs 4,000. It has been increased this time as compared to the previous editions of the odd-even rule, when the penalty was Rs 2,000.

Around 300 traffic inspectors and assistant traffic inspectors (ATI) will be deployed in two shifts during the odd-even drive. The ATIs and revenue department officials will issue challans to the violators of the scheme as well as ensure proper enforcement of the schemes at the 200 locations.

Sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), tehsildars, traffic police, transport department, and assistant traffic inspector teams will be able to levy fines on the violators this year.

Government office timings

Of the 42 government offices, 21 will work from 9.30 am to 6 pm, while the timing for others will be 10.30 am to 7 pm.

According to PTI, departments like municipal corporations of Delhi, transport, directorate of education, higher education, irrigation and flood control, state election commission, information and publicity, excise and urban development will start at 10.30 am.

Alternative modes of transport

Both Ola and Uber have said they will not impose surge pricing on customers in the scheme’s duration.

Auto rickshaw drivers are being asked to go by the meter prices when odd-even scheme will be rolled out, said Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

As many as 2,000 additional buses will be deployed on roads. There are currently over 5,600 public transport buses run by DTC and DIMTS. However, the experts have said that over 11,000 public transport buses are needed to bear the current load of commuters, according to PTI.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will conduct 61 additional trips and a total of 5,100 trips through 294 trains, and will display electronic messages on the odd-even scheme at various metro stations. "To ensure the smooth functioning of all the metro lines and trains, 35 teams will be deployed at all the major metro stations,” a DMRC statement said.

The Signature Bridge, which connects Wazirabad to East Delhi, will remain closed from November 5 to 14 when the odd-even scheme will be rolled out, according to Livemint.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 05, 2019 17:50:58 IST