New Delhi, Nov 17: We’re now praying, only God can save us, said of the government officials as the pollution level in Delhi scaled 12 times above the recommended level. According to the Air Quality Index data, Delhi’s Mandir Marg and Dwarka were at 333, and 332, respectively, both ‘hazardous’. Siri Fort was at 288, while Punjabi Bagh was at 290, both ‘very unhealthy’, news agency ANI reported.
The government officials also said that they know what would be done to control the smog but nothing can be done now at least this year. Delhi’s air quality had shown a little improvement but it remained ‘very poor’ on November 14. The Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) had earlier decided to stay the emergency measures but withdrew the ban as the air quality improved a little. However, capital city’s air quality is ‘hazardous’ at many places.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) will hear the matter on Friday, November 17. System of Air Quality And Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) has forecast poor air quality over the weekend due to moisture. Delhi’s air quality index – at 363 – was in the ‘very poor’ zone.
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Thursday asked EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal to advise other cities in the NCR to implement the odd-even scheme to control air pollution. “It needs to be appreciated that unless GRAP is implemented across all NCR towns, pollution level in Delhi, as well as neighbouring towns, cannot be brought down,” the minister wrote in a letter.
One of the reasons for Delhi smog is farmers burning the paddy stubble in the neighbouring states. It is said that approximately $600 million is needed for the alternatives but, the officials said that, the Delhi government, BJP government are debating over as to who will pay the amount. “We’ve tried our best to tackle the situation, but as policymakers we’ve failed to address the main problem of stubble burning,” the government official said, Firstpost reported.