By Natalie Williams • 17 November 2021 • 23:22
India’s smog shrouded capital to lock down to reduce air pollution image pixabay
India’s smog shrouded capital New Dehli to lock down to reduce air pollution. Earlier today, Wednesday, November 17, schools were closed indefinitely and some of the coal-burning power plants were too.
There are more than 20 million people residing in the smog shrouded capital which has heavy coal dependence. Coal accounts for two-thirds of the country’s power.
The New Delhi state government said, “it is open to the idea of a weekend lockdown to reduce automobile traffic and potentially other air-polluting activity in the city, and it is awaiting the go-ahead from India’s Supreme Court”. A decision could come as early as November 24.
The details of the lockdown have not yet been released. Authorities are discussing whether to allow industries to continue operating.
Some experts said a lockdown “would achieve very little in controlling pollution and would instead cause disruptions in the economy and harm the livelihoods of millions of people”.
“This is not the solution that we are looking for, because this is hugely disruptive. And we also have to keep in mind that the economy is already under pressure, poor people are at risk,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director at the Centre for Science and Environment, a research and advocacy organisation in New Delhi.
Soaring pollution levels in the smog shrouded capital prompted a federal environment ministry panel to issue strict guidelines Tuesday night, November 16, to reduce the pollution and show residents that the government is taking the crisis seriously. It is a situation that has affected the city for many years.
Other than closing schools and shutting down some power plants, the Commission for Air Quality Management ordered a complete halt in construction until November 21. Lorries carrying non-essential goods are also banned from entering the city. A work from home scheme is also being encouraged for half of each private company’s employees to reduce the amount of emissions being emitted into the atmosphere in the hope that the smog shrouded city will have an improved air quality.
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