Severe pollution in Delhi. Is vehicular movement facing a ban?
Vehicular movement in Delhi might face a ban owing to the severe air pollution in the national capital. With the national capital and nearby cities blanketed in dense smog for more than a week now, the Supreme Court has told the central government to prioritise an emergency plan to tackle the situation.
The air quality in Delhi and nearby cities have worsened over the last week since Diwali. While stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana are believed to be key contributors to this situation, vehicular movement and gross violation of cracker ban during the festivities are also claimed to be contributing to the pollution.
Hence, a ban on vehicular movement seems likely by the government as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has mentioned. While Supreme Court CJI N V Ramana didn't mandate anything, he told the government to do something to tackle the situation. One of the suggestions was the ban on vehicular movement.
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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also indicated that his government is mulling the idea of a lockdown in the national capital and will present the plan to the apex court soon. Meanwhile, offices in Delhi have been advised to bring down their vehicular usage and people too have been advised to limit their outdoor activities.
Various studies at multiple times have pointed that vehicular emissions in Delhi contribute most to the national capital's PM 2.5 levels, in terms of local sources of pollution. An analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) shows that vehicular emissions contribute 50-53 per cent of total air pollution in Delhi. The rest of the contributors are household sources, construction, waste burning, industry, road dust etc.
The analysis also reveals that nitrogen dioxide levels in Delhi's air increase when traffic congestion increases reducing travel speeds of vehicles.