Comprehensive plan to tackle air pollution in Delhi, NCR has been developed: Javadekar

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Nov 21, 2019, 03.21 PM(IST) Edited By: Sparshita Saxena

File photo: Prakash Javadekar Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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The minister also said that a comprehensive air plan for Delhi NCR has been developed. 

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday told Rajya Sabha that several initiatives have been taken to "abate and control air pollution in Delhi/NCR".

Javadekar told the Upper House that a high-level task force was constituted under the chairmanship of the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister for the same and that "regular review meetings have been held," news agency ANI quoted the minister. 

The minister also said that a comprehensive air plan for Delhi NCR has been developed, "identifying the timelines and implementing agencies for actions delineated". 

He also said that the Central government has notified a graded response action plan for Delhi/NCR for different levels of pollution.

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The air quality in Delhi-NCR plunged into 'very poor' category again on Thursday and is expected to drop to 'severe' by tomorrow, as per the data provided by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

The Air Quality Index (AQI) today was recorded at 312 with PM 10 at 142 and PM 2.5 at 72.

"The overall Delhi AQI is in the very poor category and is slowly declining and may further deteriorate by tomorrow towards the higher end of the very poor scale and may touch 'severe' in some parts of Delhi by November 22," stated the organisation in its advisory.

The pollution in Delhi can be attributed to two factors - slow surface winds in Delhi, and increasing fire counts compared to last week. Additionally, stubble level winds from the burning sites will contribute to the pollution.

The national capital and the adjoining areas have been grappling with poor air quality after Diwali last month. While schools were shut for multiple days across Delhi/NCR to keep children away from the adverse effects of worsening pollution levels, construction activities were also halted on some days. 

The Kejriwal government also initiated the 'Odd-Even' vehicular scheme earlier this month with an aim to abate the pollution. 

(With inputs from ANI)