Delhi to monitor air pollution 24x7 with ‘green war room’ ahead of winter

To monitor air pollution complaints through Green Delhi app; anti-dust drive to be launched October 5

By Nandita Banerji
Published: Tuesday 03 October 2023
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai launching the green war room. Photo: @AapKaGopalRai / X (previously Twitter)__

The Delhi government launched a ‘green war room’ on October 3, 2023 to combat air pollution in the national capital through 24x7 monitoring and implementation of the Winter Action Plan. The national capital’s battle with air pollution is long standing and takes a particular hit in the winters.  

The capital’s captive air pollution from vehicles, industry, construction activities, etc is already very high, according to New Delhi-based think tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). Stubble burning by farmers in Punjab and Haryana in the beginning of the winter season further adds to the captive pollution levels. 

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai launched the anti-pollution war room and stressed the need for public participation. The war room will be connected to a mobile application called the Green Delhi app. 

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a 15-point Winter Action Plan on September 29, 2023 to control air pollution in Delhi during the winter season. The Delhi government will also launch an anti-dust campaign on October 5, 2023. 

Rai also quoted CSE over sources of pollution in the press note. “As per a CSE report, internal sources, those within Delhi, amounted to 31 per cent of pollution. Whereas external sources, those within surrounding states contribute 69 per cent of it,” he said in the statement. 

The minister was quoting a November 2021 report by CSE looking into source contribution to particulate pollution in Delhi and impact of traffic congestion on local pollution. Vehicles dominate the real time pollution source contribution to Delhi’s particulate pollution, the analysis had found. 

A recent report by CSE found that despite low air pollution levels in winter 2022, Delhi was still the most polluted of five major cities in the national capital region. Large-scale air quality monitoring started in 2018 in Delhi. 

A 17-member team consisting of scientists and engineers will look after the war room, Rai said in a press statement. The application is a combined platform of 28 departments of Delhi and citizens can send in complaints about pollution sources through it, which would be monitored by the green war room. 

“All the complaints received on the Green Delhi app are jointly overseen by all 28 departments, including from the central government, Delhi government and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), etc. Nodal officers have been appointed in every department to operate this app,” said Rai. 

So far, 70,684 complaints have been received on Green Delhi App and 90 per cent of them have been resolved to date, the minister further claimed. Most were against the working of the MCD. 

The air quality index (AQI) value of Delhi was 155 on October 3, 2023, falling in the moderate range. An AQI ranging from zero to 50 falls under the “good” category, while an AQI between 51 and 100 is in “satisfactory” range. 

A value between 201 to 300 falls under the “poor” category, which can deteriorate to “very poor” for values between 301 and 400. Values ranging from 401-500 are “severe”. 

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.