Delhi smog in 2012 was alarming
Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir on November 5, 2012 expressed concern over the growing problem of smog in the
national capital, media reports said. An NDTV report on Tuesday, said Kabir has hinted that the court may look into the matter. The
report quoted Kabir saying that he is concerned over the raising levels of smog in Delhi. On November 12, 2012 taking serious note of the thick smog
over Dehli Region over the past few days, the SC appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has
asked four States – Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana – to take immediate remedial measures.
Recent report of the Central Pollution Control Board
The Capital is leading the way with its old city recording the highest pollution level in the country, said a report of the Central Pollution Control Board. The report, accessed
exclusively by HT as it has not been made public yet, said there has been a 19 per cent increase in air pollution in urban areas with 70 per cent of locations above critical levels. Chandni Chowk topped the list of 10 most polluted areas, moving up five
positions from the previous list. Janakpuri debuted in the list, making it two for Delhi. Despite replacing its pollution-spewing diesel buses
with with cleaner CNG ones and taking a host of measures like making Bharat IV norms mandatory for cars, regulating truck traffic and putting up effluent treatment plants, Delhi remains the country's 11th most critically polluted area.
The Central Pollution Control Board's latest Comprehensive Environmental Assessment of Industrial (CEPI) index in June 2011, that rates a place on the basis
of cumulative air, water and land pollution indicators, puts Delhi's Najafgarh drain basin, that includes Anand Parvat, Naraina, Okhla and Wazirpur, at number 11 in the list of 88 most polluted industrial clusters with a CEPI of 79.4.
With a nearexplosive increase in vehicular population, Delhi's air quality is worsening, compared to Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata or Hyderabad. The suspended particulate matter in Delhi stood at 180+ in 2009, against a safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre.
“The Ring Road in Delhi was built with a carrying capacity of 75,000 vehicles during peak hour,” she said. “It now carries over 160,000 vehicles.” The
solution, both Gautam and Chowdhury agreed, lay in switching to public transportation.
Experts say air pollution increasing cancer cases in Delhi
New Studies have revealed Delhi faces serious concerns about diseases caused by air pollution. Environmentalists say that with 690,000 vehicles on city roads, a growth
of about 600,000 in 20 years, nitrous oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) are at critically high levels. And unless immediate action is taken, the results could prove disastrous. NOx and PM are known to cause Cancer
and Asthma and medical experts claim signs of deteriorating health are showing.
Green technology vehicles
Delhi Ex- Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on 4th January 2010 inaugurated Twizy Z.E. Concept, a new electric car from the stables of Renault, which will be out on Indian roads by 2011.The blue and white
two- seater works on the green technology principle. Renault India general manager Marc Nassif says his company is commitment to green technology.
On September 18, 2010 Tata Motors shot us a press release containing details and images of the India’s first CNG- Electric hybrid public transport bus. It can accommodate 32 people, uses a parallel hybrid system and has a top speed
of 72 kph. Tata says it has a team of 500 engineers who are readily available to service these buses. The vehicles will be in operation during the Commonwealth games that is about a fortnight away.
Air monitoring stations
With Delhi fast becoming the most polluted city in South Asia, the Central Pollution Control Board has decided to install three more air
monitoring stations here to update air quality data every 15 minutes. The equipment, costing around Rs 80 lakh each, would be installed at India
Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) in Dilshad Garden, Netaji Subash Institute of Technology in Dwarka and third one is proposed at Delhi Milk Scheme in Patel
Nagar, all highly polluted areas.
The continuous pollution monitoring devices are being set up in the new three locations witnessing sudden spurt
in population, unmonitored industrial areas as well sharp growth in vehicular and human population in these areas, said the CPCB Director Mr S D Makhijani. The new systems to be installed by the Board inaugurated on June 5,
2008 on the occasion of World Environment Day. Presently four continuous air quality stations are functioning from Siri Fort, ITO, Delhi College of Engineering in Rohini and through a mobile van that is stationed as per need.
New Delhi, Now More Polluted Than Beijing
India has recently pulled far ahead of China on one dubious development marker – air pollution in the country’s capital. The air quality in New Delhi on November 21, 2011 afternoon was significantly worse
than the air quality in Beijing, according to real-time air monitors run by the Indian and U.S. governments in both cities. New Delhi, a landlocked, fast-growing metropolis of more than 16 million people, is regularly shrouded by haze and smog
(Fog over Delhi ) in winter months, as barometric pressure and cooler air mix with construction dust, smoke from cow dung fires and car exhaust, which then hover over the city for days.
But this year, the air quality in New Delhi has seemed noticeably worse than previous years as the summer heat dissipates. On Monday, a thick gray haze hung over
Delhi’s taller buildings, and a visible film formed quickly on stationary objects, leaving a chemical taste and grime on the skin.
The flyovers of Delhi have turned into giant vuvuzelas, blowing vehicular noise double the prescribed limits into the ears of
people even six- seven floors above the ground. A study conducted by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) blames the hundred- odd flyovers that have mushroomed in the city in recent
years for turning up the noise pollution levels in the capital. People living near airports, highways, and railroads are majorly exposed to noise pollution. They are disturbed by the noise and it has
been evident that they remain stressed by the noise and, in turn, experience physiological problems,Everyday noise exposure over time has an impact upon our ability to hear and on the degree of hearing loss that develops.
Drinking water pollution
Till now, the polluted drinking water have been found in groundwater and tap water. Water in bottles and canisters have for long
offered the middle class the only option for clean drinking water. But it appears even these are not as pure as they claim. While the Central Pollution Control Board does routine checks on groundwater and river water, a one-off study of bottled mineral water in
Delhi reveals that the so-called pure water has significant levels of pollutants, notably coliform (faecal matter), a major pollutant in the River Yamuna , despite claims to the contrary.
The study took samples from five major mineral water brands. It revealed that most of these brands had levels of boron and iron exceeding safe
limits. But what is more worrying is the presence of coliform (bacteria) matter in the water. In fact, all brands had excess levels of coliform, and in some cases there were traces of coliform from human faecal matter, the kind of pollutant found in sewage water.
52 per cent of Delhi lives in slums without basic services
More than half of Delhi’s population lives in urban slums with inadequate provision of basic services, a study released recently. According to the study, titled
“A situational analysis of the young child in India”, 52 percent of Delhi’s population resides in urban slums. The survey, conducted in six slums in Delhi by Forces, a voluntary
organisation working on child care services in India, shows that in comparison to Delhi’s infant mortality rate (IMR) of 40, the IMR in slums is higher at 54 for every 1,000 live births.
President Pranab Mukherjee opens Mughal Gardens to the public
Udyanotsav is a month long festival from February 14-March 15, 2015 wherein public is allowed to visit mughal gardens when the flowers are
their best. The floral event is extremely popular and had recorded 5.84 lakh footfall in one month in 2014.
The 139-hectare area of mughal gardens will showcase 120 varieties of roses, 70 varieties of seasonal flowers, 2,500 dahlias, 250 bonsai
plants, 80 varieties o f cactus along with flowers like Calendula, Gerbera, Linaria, Larkspur,
Gaznia, Verbena, Viola, Pansy Carnation, Chrysanthemum, Marigold and Salvia which line the symmetric pavements of the gardens.
Exotic birds find unexpected nesting in Delhi
One of the world's most polluted and populated cities, Delhi, is home
to 450 species of bird - more than any other capital city in the world except
Nairobi in July 2011. But it is unclear whether the birds will survive the continued growth of the mega city.
Delhi biologist discovered 12 new frog species
Sathyabhama Das Biju, amphibian biologist of University of Delhi has been credited with more than a hundred discoveries in the
field of amphibian research, including the latest 12 species he chronicled. Biju and his student researchers have listed the new species.