Press Trust of India

Delhi govt teams to monitor air quality during G20 Summit

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New Delhi: The Delhi government has formed special teams to ensure that the city’s air quality remains at a satisfactory level during the G20 Summit, which will witness several world leaders take part, officials said on Friday.

The 11 teams formed for each district — comprising the district magistrate concerned, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) deputy commissioners and probationary IAS officers — will take steps such as the use of water sprinklers and mechanised sweeping to check dust, a senior government officer said.

The G20 Leaders’ Summit will be held at the newly-built international convention and exhibition centre — Bharat Mandapam — at Pragati Maidan on Saturday and Sunday.

The officer said, “The focused approach has started showing results with the air quality at a satisfactory level of 83 on Friday evening. It was at 87 a day before.”

Delhi has grappled with pollution over the past few years. However, Environment Minister Gopal Rai recently said PM10 and PM2.5 — the two important air pollution parameters — registered a 45 per cent decline on an average in the national capital since 2014.

The special teams will focus on pollution hotspots in the districts assigned to them.

“Different agencies such as the MCD, New Delhi Municipal Council and the public works department are using water sprinklers and mechanised sweepers to keep dust pollution in check,” said the officer.

Officials said factors such as rain, which helps dust settle, also played a part. Holidays announced for the summit have also resulted in fewer vehicles on the road and cleaner air.

Rai, in a press conference on Tuesday, said the PM10 level has declined 42 per cent from 2014 to August this year. It was at 324 in 2014 and at 188 in August, he said.

Similarly, he said, the PM2.5 level has declined 46 per cent — from 149 in 2014 to 81 in August.

The environment department has been asked to keep a watch on the city’s pollution hotspots during the summit, he added.

Particulate matter (PM) 10 and 2.5 levels usually start increasing from the last week of October and reach their peak in November — when the temperature plummets — requiring measures to check the poor air quality.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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