Delhi pollution: Kejriwal to unveil winter action plan, may adopt cloud seeding

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will unveil the Delhi government’s winter action plan to curb air pollution on September 29.

The Delhi government has identified 13 hotspots namely Anand Vihar, Mundka, Wazirpur, Jahangirpuri, R K Puram, Rohini, Punjabi Bagh, Okhla, Bawana, Vivek Vihar, Narela, Ashok Vihar and Dwarka for control of pollution from hotspots. “Inventorisation of major air pollution sources form hotspots have been completed for focused preventive actions. It was advised to deploy Nodal Officers specifically to address air pollution from hotspots,” stated the Delhi government.

The departments and agencies involved in framing the plan include the environment, development, transport, and revenue departments, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Police, Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, and the Public Works Department among others.

Earlier this month, Kejriwal said cloud seeding will be explored as a measure to cause artificial rainfall in order to check pollution.

Indians lose 5.3 years of life to air pollution,  Delhiites lose 11.9 years

Cloud seeding is a process carried out from an aircraft to induce rain in moisture-filled clouds by sprinkling the upper reaches of clouds with chemicals such as common salt or silver iodide.

CNBCTV18 reported that the national capital recorded its lowest average Air Quality Index (AQI) in July as compared to the last four years since 2019. During the month, Delhi witnessed heavy rainfall along with gusty winds which resulted in the cleanest air in the month as the AQI stood at 83.71 on July 31.

“The number of ‘Good to Moderate’ Air Quality Days for the 31 days (July) was 26 in the year 2019; 31 in 2020; 29 in 2021; 31 in 2022; and 31 in the current year 2023,” ANI reported.

Delhi faces a public health crisis ahead and during most of the winter season. The crisis begins with the emanation of farm fires in Punjab and Haryana. Farmers set fire to paddy fields after harvesting them to clear them of residue.

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