Indian Capital Gears Up to Tackle Air Pollution Ahead of Winter
The Indian capital of New Delhi will enforce a 15-step action plan to curb pollution ahead of the arrival of winter, when a haze of toxic smog envelops the world’s most polluted city.
High pollution is an annual sore point for Delhi, especially in October and November.
Authorities urge people to stay indoors as burning of crop waste ahead of a new sowing season and lower temperatures trap pollutants in the air for longer, often forcing the closure of schools, with curbs placed on use of private vehicles.
“We are announcing a 15-point winter action plan,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told a news conference at which he laid out the measures to reduce pollution, though the annual campaign has had little impact for years.
Measures to help limit dust in the air will include installation of anti-smog guns and water sprinklers, he added.
The government will also ensure that people do not burn waste materials, a major cause of pollution.
Tough measures to check vehicular pollution include curbs on the usage of diesel-fueled vehicles older than 10 years and petrol-run vehicles older than 15.
Pollution levels also peak during Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, which falls on Oct. 24 this year. The government renewed a ban on firecrackers this month.
The Delhi city government will draft thousands of volunteers to ensure the anti-pollution measures are followed, Kejriwal added. He urged neighboring states to ensure a constant supply of electricity and so limit use of diesel-run power generators.