As air quality turns ‘severe’ in parts of Delhi, CM Kejriwal launches ‘Green Delhi’ app to fight air pollution

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal (File Image)
Amid rising air pollution in the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday launched the “Green Delhi” app, which will enable people to register complaints about violation of anti-pollution norms.
“Today we are launching the Green Delhi app. Our aim is to involve each and every citizen in this initiative. This app can be installed from the Play Store. You can file any kind of complaint regarding pollution via this app. If you witness industrial pollution or industrial dust, you can upload its video, picture, or audio. Automatically the location will be sent to us,” said Kejriwal

The mobile app is a part of the Delhi government’s “Yudh Pradushan Ke Virudh” campaign, announced by Kejriwal on October 6, to reduce pollution levels in the national capital.
Through this photo-based complaint lodging app, people will be able to inform the government about the burning of waste, and industrial and dust pollution. There will be a time limit for redressal of the complaints received on the Green Delhi app, the Delhi government said.

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Meanwhile, the air quality dipped further with the Air Quality Index (AQI) crossing 400-mark (severe category) at several places in Delhi today. The AQI was registered at 401 in Anand Vihar, 405 in Alipur and 410 in Wazirpur, as per Delhi Pollution Control Committee data.
On Tuesday, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai held a review meeting on the grievance redressal process related to the Green Delhi app with officials of various departments.

Nodal officers from the Environment Department, Revenue Department, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Council, Delhi Development Authority, Public Works Department, Delhi Police, Delhi Fire Service, and National Highways Authority of India among others attended the review meeting.

The Delhi government said that all the concerned departments will be connected with the app, and the complaints received will automatically reach them. If the complaint is not resolved in time, action will be taken against the concerned officials, it said.

In the meantime, 1,702 challans for a total of Rs 26.43 lakh had been issued for open burning of garbage from October 1-October 17 and 59 challans issued for a total of Rs 12 lakh for dust pollution from October 1-16, according to a North Delhi Municipal Corporation official.

Stubble and garbage burning, dust, local industrial and vehicular emission are among the factors that contribute to high pollution levels every winter in the national capital.
The chief minister has also said that customised plans for curbing pollution levels in 13 hotspots identified in the national capital will be made in the coming days.

Meanwhile, on October 26, the Central government submitted before the Supreme Court that it is contemplating the creation of a permanent body by enacting legislation to deal with the annual air pollution issue in the national capital region arising from stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Centre, said that the government will bring new legislation in three to four days. AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria has also said that the rising air pollution, combined with coronavirus infection and lung complications, can possibly lead to serious consequences, and therefore, higher mortality.

According to an ICMR study, about 4 lakh deaths in India were due to air pollution in 2017.
The highest PM2.5 exposure level is in Delhi, followed by the other north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Haryana.

Meanwhile, the national capital witnessed a thin layer of smog this morning, reducing visibility in various parts of the city. Amid the rise in pollution levels here, people are also experiencing problems with breathing.

According to experts, the severe category affects the health of people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases.

An AQI between 0-50 is marked good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 is moderate, 201-300 is poor, 301-400 is very poor and 401-500 is considered severe.

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