Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai has urged the Central government to only allow CNG, electric, and BS VI-compliant vehicles in Delhi-NCR to address the issue of vehicular pollution.
In a letter to Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, Rai expressed concerns about the anticipated decline in air quality due to Diwali fireworks and stubble burning in neighbouring states. He called for an emergency meeting with NCR states to address the issue.
Starting November 1, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) directed that only electric, CNG, and BS VI-compliant diesel buses operate between Delhi and cities in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan within the National Capital Region (NCR).
Rai proposed extending the ban on non-BS VI compliant vehicles throughout the entire NCR. Studies indicate that on-road vehicular exhaust emissions contribute significantly to PM2.5 emissions in Delhi.
Although pollution levels in Delhi and surrounding areas slightly decreased overnight due to improved wind speed, PM2.5 concentrations remained over 80 times the WHO-recommended limit. A persistent haze has raised concerns among doctors regarding respiratory and eye problems, particularly in children and the elderly.
The air quality in Delhi-NCR has worsened due to decreasing temperatures, stagnant winds trapping pollution, and increased burning of post-harvest paddy straw in Punjab and Haryana. Central Pollution Control Board data reveals a significant rise in Delhi’s Air Quality Index from October 27 to November 3, reaching ‘severe plus’ levels on Friday.
Source: Economic Times