Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Children under 15 at serious risk from polluted air

Globally 93% of children live in areas where air pollution exceeds WHO guidelines Globally 93% of children live in areas where air pollution exceeds WHO guidelines Credit MARK RALSTON AFP
Frank Williams | 31 October, 2018, 05:41

GRAP is a plan prepared by the EPCA and it lists various pollution-combating measures that must be undertaken.

The bench, which included Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta as well, took the steps after the court amicus curiae Aparajita Singh submitted a note on air pollution in the NCR.

Earlier, the National Green Tribunal had also banned the plying of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles in the Delhi-NCR. The court instructed the transport department to impound such vehicles if they are found on the road.

"If you take a walk in the evening to the Old Delhi railway station, you will see poor people on cycle rickshaws". He also said that Lietaunat Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal, has asked officials to work strictly against pollution and questioned them on as to why they haven't done anything. The court described the situation as "very critical".

The CPCB will immediately make social media account on which citizens can complain about pollution, the top court ordered.

The Court also observed that a note prepared by the Chairman of EPCA and the photographs attached to the note indicated a fairly awful state of affairs with regard to pollution in various parts of Delhi.

Meanwhile, there were also reports of the Centre and the Delhi environment ministry carrying out week-long raids in Delhi starting from 1 November.

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Singh told the bench that citizens in the national capital are facing health emergency due to pollution and now the air quality was under "very poor" level.

Delhi's air quality turned "severe" on Tuesday for the first time this season with stubble burning intensifying in neighbouring states, authorities said. They (authorities) have got a good excuse in crop burning today. A major source of pollution in this area is crop stubble burning along with vehicular exhaust.

"Mere talking is not enough".

Dr Maria said WHO is supporting the implementation of health-wise policy measures like accelerating the switch to clean cooking and heating fuels and technologies, promoting the use of cleaner transport, energy-efficient housing and urban planning.

Many vehicle owners are unhappy with the court's decision as they feel that a well maintained auto, even if older than 10 years in case of diesels and older than 15 years in case of petrols, will pollute much lesser than improperly maintained, younger cars. EPCA is a Supreme Court appointed committee to check pollution.

In the ongoing pollution crisis in the capital, Delhi and NCR recorded an overnight spike in the levels of particulate matter in the air on Tuesday, October 30.

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