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Ban entry of heavy vehicles in Delhi post-Diwali: CPCB

Ban entry of heavy vehicles in Delhi post-Diwali: CPCB

NEW DELHI: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Tuesday recommended that there must be a ban on heavy vehicles post-Diwali if the pollution rises. The board also is mulling inducing artificial rain in Delhi after Diwali to wash away hazardous pollutants that is plaguing the national Capital.

According to a senior CPCB official, talks are being held with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) for inducing artificial rain after Diwali when the pollution is expected to reach "severe-plus emergency" stage.

He said they are waiting for meteorological conditions to become stable and then use cloud seeding for inducing artificial rain. Cloud seeding is the process of combining different kinds of chemical agents –including silver iodide, dry ice and even common table salt –with existing clouds in an effort to thicken the clouds and increase the chance of rain or snowfall.

Meanwhile, the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority for the National Capital Region (NCR) or EPCA, a body appointed by the Supreme Court, has also issued an advisory on Tuesday, in which it has warned that pollution levels in Delhi-NCR would be 'severe' in the next week.

The advisory, written by Bhure Lal, Chairman, EPCA, to Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan says, "There has been a significant intrusion of biomass (stubble) generated pollution early morning today owing to faster transport level winds (925hpa) coming from the North-West region. This has increased pollution levels significantly and Air Quality Index (AQI) is likely to enter the severe category.

According to SAFAR (meteorological organisation), the contribution of biomass to Tuesday's pollution is estimated to be 24 percent. Surface wind speed which was moderate for the past three days is now inching towards calm conditions. The wind speed which was 29 kmph at transport height is declining now (15 kmph) and is likely to slow down intrusion.

Moisture in the air is increasing due to western disturbance withdrawal. The temperature will further cool down and fog is expected. The pollution is likely to get stabilised only by late evening."

The advisory goes on to say that in light of the development and warning, EPCA would like to reiterate that all the emergency orders already issued under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) on October 12, October 27 and October 31, must intensify, and be implemented and enforced with utmost discipline and stringency and with zero tolerance.

Sayantan Ghosh

Sayantan Ghosh

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