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Doctors fear India could be at the Covid tipping point

With its densely packed cities and under-funded medical system, India has little margin for error .


30 March, 2020, 12:16 PM IST



Norms for collecting waste from quarantined homes

With an increasing number of Indians going into home quarantine as a precautionary measure in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Wednesday issued guidelines on handling waste from households so quarantined.

Central Pollution Control Board issues notices to 14 power plants

A senior power ministry official said the ministry has told the companies i...

Government eases import restrictions for certain chemicals, aviation gasoline

According to the notification, import of zinc dross is allowed ...

  • Mumbai is set to get the highest grant of Rs 488 crore from the Centre’s Rs 4,400 crore fund which is earmarked exclusively for cities with more than one million population in states to improve air quality during 2020-21. Delhi may miss this assistance despite figuring among the most polluted cities in the country as the fund would only be meant for ‘million plus’ population cities in states.

    A bench of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta said this while hearing a plea filed by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), seeking permission to allow registration of several diesel vehicles of 2000cc capacity and above to carry out solid waste management. "We are worried for future. It is not for today," the bench said, referring to the menace of pollution in the Delhi-National Capital Region.

    Air pollution is causing 8.8 million premature deaths annually.

    Beijing -- once infamous for its toxic haze -- has reduced smog levels and dropped down a list of the world’s most polluted cities, falling to 199 from 84 three years before, according to the 2019 World Air Quality Report published Tuesday by IQAir AirVisual. In contrast, India still dominated its list of the smoggiest urban areas, accounting for 14 of the top 20.

    “You cannot destroy the ecology. You can consider keeping it out of ecologically fragile areas,” the chief justice said, suggesting a review of all power projects in the country situated in such areas.

    The maps created using data show NO2 values before and during the quarantine.

    The young wholesaler who imports N-95 masks from China, and manufactures anti-pollution and protection masks, employs 120 labourers, of whom only 23 are there at his factory today. The rest have fled the city to escape the violence.

    The CJI clarified that he was not “summoning” the minister but only wanted his assistance in dealing with a petition filed by activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan on behalf of the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) seeking an immediate switch to electric vehicles as part of the government efforts to improve ambient air quality in Delhi-NCR.

    While environment minister Prakash Javadekar is often heard stating that there is no correlation between air pollution levels and premature deaths, the latest Indian study published in a leading international journal suggests close correlation.

    If you ban thermal power, without alternative power sources in place, economic activity would shut down, increasing unemployment, destroying companies and shattering tax collections. Did the chief justice take these factors into account while making the sweeping statement that thermal power plants should be shut down?

    The apex court had on November 4 last year banned all construction and demolition activities in Delhi-NCR. About a month later, on December 9, lifted the ban partially and allowed construction activities between 6 AM and 6 PM, after the Central Pollution Control Board had said that air quality index (AQI) level was not severe at that time.

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