Pushed to the wall, finally the country is seeing some concernted actions from the authorities to contain the high pollution levels in Delhi, the capital, which is reeling under severe and unprecedented pollution crisis.
The efforts by the administration have been endorsed by the Mother nature too, by unleashing high speed wind to roll up the smog. And there was a clear dip in the pollution levels.
The Delhi Government has introduced the odd-even scheme from November 4 in a bid to restrict vehicle pollution. The odd-even policy seeks to reduce pollution levels by halving vehicle usage on Delhi’s roads between November 4 and 15.
Besides, the machines are being given to use stubbles instead of burning, which is one of the main reasons of the pollution. There are from 27 lakh farmers in Punjab and Haryana. But only 63,000 farmers have been given machines.
The Supreme Court, on its part, monitored the odd-even scheme and also came down heavily on the authorities. Punjab and Haryana have to extinguish fire from stubbles in agricultural fields and submit a report by Wednesday, the Supreme Court said.
“If stubble burning takes place, the entire administration — from the Chief Secretary to the gram pradhan will be responsible”, the court said, ordering a slew of measures to bring the pollution in check. The court also sought a road-map from the Centre and the governments of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana to stop pollution on long-term. “People are dying and it can’t happen in a civilised country… Every time we are passing orders for the current issue. We have to pass orders for long term measures,” the court said.
On Monday, the AQI level remained above 800 in certain parts of the city, the worst levels seen in more than three years. The Indian Meteorological Department said that while some of the cooler weather which has been exacerbating the smog will improve in the coming days, it is difficult to say whether this will lead to a substantial reduction in pollution.
The Centre has reportedly deployed around 300 teams to New Delhi and surrounding areas to enforce restrictions and go after farmers carrying out illegal burning.
A report from Chandigarh said, the Punjab government has acted against nearly 3,000 farmers for burning stubble. The state authorities have initiated action against a total of 2,923 farmers in 20,729 cases of stubble burning reported till November 1. Punjab government expects about 10 to 20 per cent decline in the number of such cases this year as against 2018 as a result of the intensified drive by it, he added.
Winds gusting up to 20 kilometres per hour dispersed some of the noxious haze that lingered over Delhi for around a week. 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 will improve the situation further.