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  • Published
    6th Nov, 2023

Context:

India’s States should ensure greater compliance on air pollution.

About the Issue:

  • Seasonal Inflection Point: Delhi and adjacent regions of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh face a yearly air quality transition as the southwest monsoon withdraws, creating conditions where pollutants accumulate due to human activities.
  • Addressing the Stalemate: Despite numerous studies and initiatives, the air pollution issue reaches a stalemate, managed by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) with limited power to recommend actions based on pollution levels.

November's Critical Air Quality:

  • Pollution Trends: While the air quality has improved year-round in Delhi from January to October over six years, November continues to witness severe air quality days, depicting a consistent challenge during this month.
  • Challenges Ahead: Despite a decrease in stubble burning, the forthcoming weeks may see more such activities. The critical focus should shift to November, emphasizing efforts against vehicular emissions and construction dust for more effective measures.
  • Need for Comprehensive Strategy: It is essential to tackle pollution sources beyond stubble burning, demanding a more robust approach, potentially affecting urban areas, emphasizing coordination and compliance between Delhi and the surrounding regions.

Key Emphasis:

  • Overcoming November Challenges: November remains a critical period for tackling severe air quality in Delhi and surrounding areas. It requires focused efforts on vehicular pollution, construction dust, and more robust and coordinated measures, shifting beyond just stubble burning.
  • Role of CAQM: Bodies such as the Commission for Air Quality Management should enforce their independent authority, enabling better coordination and compliance between Delhi and the neighboring states to effectively address the annual air quality crisis in November.
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