Expecting a polluted Diwali, pollution task force issues advisory for EPCA

A farmer walks through smoke caused by farming waste set on fire at Palwal in the state of Haryana

A farmer walks through smoke caused by farming waste set on fire at Palwal in the state of Haryana

Poor air quality poses a significant environmental health hazard to people around the globe, with numerous compounds contributing to air pollution, including particulate matter (PM), ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide - pollutants that can cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as cancer.

Meteorological condition are expected to get supportive of breathable air in Delhi-NCR around Diwali, while festival traffic rush is likely to aggravate pollution in Delhi, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) officials said.

The CPCB-led task force had urged the public to avoid outdoor activities and minimise the use of private vehicles to reduce exposure to toxic air.

Crop burning will be at its peak in the first week of November as farmers prepare their fields for sowing the winter crops, mainly wheat. Tackling air pollution by closing polluting power plants and shifting to cleaner transport, such as cycling or electric cars, has a double benefit as it also tackles climate change.

Some of these recommendations include shut down of coal and biomass factories, intensification of inspection by the transport department to check polluting vehicles and control traffic congestion in Delhi NCR during November 01-10. "1,515 units is too high a concentration", an official from the Haryana State Pollution Control Board told IANS.

Dr. Maria Neira, World Health Organization (WHO) director for public health and environment has said that the developing bodies of children and babies are most at risk she also added that 300 million people live in the places where toxic fumes are six times above worldwide guidelines.

Vardhan said farm fires alone are not to blame for the pollution problem. The reason behind the deterioration has been attributed to localised factors as well as stubble burning from the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.

"The team found a number of serious violations of dust control measures at the Pragati Maidan redevelopment site, following which the minister directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to take strict action against the violating agency", the environment department said in a statement Friday.

Prior, on Thursday, EPCA advised the NCR to be additional cautious as air quality is probably going to exacerbate from November 1.

Warnings have likewise been issued out in the open enthusiasm, asking people to check the usage of private, particularly diesel, vehicles as the air quality is relied upon to encounter a sharp plunge around the season of Diwali, a report said.

"This will act as a deterrent for any agency that fails to control local pollution".

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