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The Air Report [2/1/17]

Happy *cough* New *cough* Year! *dies*

January 2, 2017
air-pollution-delhi

Image Courtesy: Viktor Kiryanov [unsplash.com]

PM10 Level (Safe): 100 micrograms per cubic metre

PM10 Level (Delhi):733

PM10 Level (Beijing):126

PM2.5 Level (Safe): 60 micrograms per cubic metre

PM2.5 Level (Delhi): 524

PM2.5 Level (Beijing):223

PM2.5 Level (New York): 40

So, I stumbled upon this interesting news article.

Scientists from  the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) in Kolkata conducted a study on the effects of air pollution in Delhi with 11,000 school children, from over 36 schools. This 3-year study began in 2002, and the report was handed to the CPCB in 2010. The CPCB then forgot about it for 2 years. Apparently, the Indian Express discovered it. Among the facts reported:

  • In lung tests conducted on 5,718 students, 43.5% suffered from “poor or restrictive lungs”.
  • About 15% of the children surveyed complained of frequent eye irritation, 27.4% of frequent headache, 11.2% of nausea, 7.2% of palpitation and 12.9% of fatigue.
  • Delhi’s numbers were far higher than that among the ‘control group’ of 4,536 students selected from 17 schools spread across the “much less polluted” rural areas of Uttaranchal and West Bengal.
[Indian Express]

What happened this week?

Showing some common sense, the Delhi Government has postponed the implementation of the massive cut in DTC fares. The government says that it might take a week, and eventually needs the Lieutenant Governor’s approval. Let’s see how our new L-G, Mr Anil Baijal,  works. [HT]

Apparently, there is a new, hidden pollutant in town: benzene. Like, even at RK Puram (see, lots of trees!) its levels were at 37; the safe limit is 5. Benzene in the air, even at low concentrations, causes cancer. Go figure. [Financial Express]

Six children have approached the National Green Tribunal, asking for relief from the pollution in their area i.e. Mundka. About 30% of the area in Mundka and adjacent Kirari, is industrial  area. The NGT has notified the Central and the Delhi Government, as well as all the concerned bodies. The hearing is on January 27. [Hindu]

Our graded plan might just see the light of the day this winter; the legal opinion is that there is no need to issue a draft notification for public comments, as the Supreme Court itself has given the order. [TOI]

Not to be too pessimistic already, but here’s a very detailed read on why the latest action plan won’t work until both the Centre and the State(s) start taking air quality as seriously as they take matters of succession in their political parties. (Hint: It’s the money, dear) [Wire]

Lastly, the air quality was ‘very poor’ on Tuesday & Wednesday, ‘severe’ on Friday, ‘very poor’ on Saturday and ‘very poor’ on Sunday. [ET] [HT]

Happy New Year indeed.


About the author: Hitesh Shetty
Dreams of writing a bestseller and changing the world. When awake, tries to figure out how to do both.

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