Delhi Minister writes to Centre urging ban on entry of non-BS6 vehicles

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai wrote a letter to Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, requesting him to ban the entry of vehicles non-compliant with BS6 norms into Delhi from neighbouring states in Delhi-NCR. He also requested to convene an emergency meeting of neighbouring states’ Environment Ministers.

| Updated on: 04 Nov 2023, 17:01 PM

Commuters plying in Delhi on a road shrouded in smog amid hazy weather conditions. Delhi-NCR’s air quality neared the emergency threshold this week, prompting ban on certain vehicles from plying to control pollution level. (PTI)

Gopal Rai said, “Looking at the rise in the level of pollution in the last two days, construction has been banned in Delhi from yesterday. Today there has been an improvement in the level of pollution as compared to yesterday. The situation is still serious. I am writing a letter to the Central Government saying that the Union Environment Minister should call an emergency meeting of the Environment Ministers of all five states immediately. Because the orders of CAQM are not being implemented in the states. Rules are being made, and CAQM is giving directions, but in the whole NCR, rules are being violated. This is the problem of the whole of North India. “

The overall air quality in Delhi continued to remain in the ‘severe’ category for the third straight day on Saturday morning, as per the SAFAR-India.

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)-India, the overall air quality in the national capital Delhi (Overall) is in the ‘severe’ category with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 504.

Meanwhile, a Senior Lung specialist, at Medanta Hospital, Gurugram Dr Arvind Kumar said, “All age groups are adversely affected by air pollution. You might wonder how an unborn child is affected because that child is not breathing. When the child’s mother is breathing, the toxins go to her lungs; through the lungs, they go into the blood; and through the placenta, they reach the child, and the fetus, and cause damage. When the child is born, they start breathing the same air. Our air quality is around 450-500, which is equal to about 25-30 cigarettes in terms of damage to the body… They have all sorts of breathing problems.”

“From head to toe, there’s no organ in the body that escapes the ill effects of air pollution. There is no evidence to say that it causes obesity, it causes asthma. When there is obesity and exposure to air pollution both present, the chances of asthma become many times higher, as was shown by us, the Lung Care Foundation. In a study of 1,100 children in Delhi, we found that one out of three children is suffering from asthma, and when obesity was also present, this number went higher,” he added.

Speaking on increasing AQI in Delhi, Dr Neeraj Kumar Gupta, Pulmonologist, HoD, Safdarjung Hospital said, “The AQI crossing 400 and going to the severe category is mainly due to factors like combustion. Due to transportation, burning of agricultural waste, and also due to construction-related activities and industrial activities. We are responsible for it. It’s our responsibility to reduce it. Exposure needs to be avoided as pollution is directly responsible for many diseases.

“It is also responsible for affecting the health of children. The vulnerable population is very old people, small children, pregnant ladies, or people already having some respiratory conditions. They need to avoid exposure to this pollution as much as possible… They should confine themselves to their home… If they have any symptoms, then they should visit the doctor to take treatment immediately,” Neeraj Kumar Gupta added.

First Published Date: 04 Nov 2023, 17:01 PM IST

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