Pollution hotspots identified in Delhi

Pollution hotspots identified in Delhi

As air quality continues to remain "very poor" in Delhi, the authorities have identified multiple pollution hotspots where a special clean-up drive would be undertaken.

"Hotspots in the city have been identified for local control measures, including the sprinkling of water, regulation of construction activities and dust mitigation," Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Wednesday.

Delhi's air quality index jumped tao 360 on Wednesday after dropping to 308 a day earlier.

Among the satellite towns, the index for Ghaziabad is in the "severe" category whereas its "very poor" for Noida, Gurugram and Faridabad.

The plan of action for the hotspots is likely to be finalised on Friday in a meeting at the Central Pollution Control Board, said an official.

The emergency measures that are already in place include a ban on the entry of trucks in Delhi and halting all construction activities.

Under fire from the Supreme Court, the Delhi High Court and the National Green Tribunal, the central and Delhi governments are looking for more options to bring down the level of air pollution in the national capital and its surrounding areas.

One of the emergency measures – sprinkling water from a helicopter – has been shot down by state-owned Pawan Hans, arguing that it doesn't have the necessary technology and its chopper cannot fly in poor visibility conditions.

Meanwhile, an RTI query has revealed that the Delhi government is sitting on an environment corpus of nearly Rs 800 crore.

While the Arvind Kejriwal government collected nearly Rs 787 crore as green cess in the last two years, it spent only Rs 93 lakh.

However, an Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson said the environment fund could be spent only according to strict guidelines laid out by the Supreme Court.

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