Bad Air Again – NCR Air Pollution | 1st November 2022 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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What’s the article about?

  • It talks about the issue of post-Diwali air pollution in the NCR.

Relevance:

  • GS3- Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment

What’s the crux of the article?

  • This year, the day after Diwali has seen the cleanest air in Delhi since 2015.
  • This, despite the AQI remaining in the ‘very poor’ category on both Diwali.
  • But this was only temporary and relative.
  • It registered poor on the air quality index immediately after the festival.
  • Such long-term exposure to such air can cause respiratory illness.

Why is there less pollution this year?

  • Winds blowing at roughly 6-7 kmph on Diwali kept pollution at bay.
  • Decrease in farm fires in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Challenges:

  • The NCR’s pollution problem is a complex issue as it has multiple pollution sources and multiple factors.
  • These are -emissions from tailpipes of vehicles, agricultural activities in neighbouring states, industrial activities and geographical factors such as wind speeds.
  • Thus a holistic approach is required to solve this issue in the long term.

What is Stubble burning?

  • Stubble burning is the practice of burning of the residual crop, mainly paddy before the sowing of rabi crops in the northern part of India (Punjab and Haryana) in order to make the soil more fertile and clear the land.

What is Pusa bio-decomposer?

  • It is a microbial solution which is expected to help with the decomposition of paddy stubble after the harvest.
  • It is developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).

Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in National Capital Region (NCR) and Adjoining Areas:

  • It is a statutory body that regulates the process by coordinating between the Central Government and the states concerned.
  • It is headed by a full-time chairperson who has been a Secretary to the Government of India, or a Chief Secretary to a State government.
  • It also consists of experts from the CPCB, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Civil Society.
  • It will have the powers to issue directions to these state governments on issues pertaining to air pollution.                

Way Forward:

  • Air pollution is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive solution. The establishment of CAQM is a positive beginning, but all parties must work together to find a long-term solution.



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