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Air pollution: Delhi asks Centre, neighbours to check crop burning

Air pollution: Delhi asks Centre, neighbours to check crop burning
The Delhi government on Tuesday appealed to the Centre and governments of three neighbouring states to take effective steps to check burning of agriculture residue so as to reduce air pollution level in the national Capital.

Environment Minister Imran Hussain has written to the Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave and also to governments of Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan in this regard.

"With the onset of winter season, Delhi faces a critical phase of air pollution due to meteorological conditions such as wind pattern, low temperature, etc., which aggravate the pollution level, especially concentration of particulates PM 2.5 and PM 10 in Delhi's air," the letter says.

The air pollution level spikes during October and November and gaseous pollutants from neighbouring state further contribute to its rise.

In the letter, the minister has claimed that "events of major fires were reported by NASA Aqua Satellite natural colour image with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectoradiometer (MODIS) in the previous years and the same is available in public domain." 

"I therefore request you to kindly issue necessary instructions for preventing burning of agricultural residue," it said.

A recent WHO report has ranked Delhi among the most polluted cities globally. Based on data collected between 2008 and 2013, New Delhi was the 11th most-polluted city in the world.

The AAP government had decided to initiate steps, including awareness drives against burning Chinese fire crackers, dry leaves and waste in open to check air and noise pollution ahead of Diwali season.

Air pollution is killing nearly eight lakh people annually in the South East Asian Region with India alone accounting for over 75 per cent of the casualties caused by cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer, according to the WHO report.
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