On June 23, 2022, Government of Delhi issued an order to ban the entry of medium and heavy goods vehicles in Delhi, starting from November to February, in order to curb vehicular pollution.
- As per official, entry of vehicles will not be allowed from November 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023.
- This is because, vehicular pollution deteriorates air quality during winter months.
- Apart from that, Delhi government also urged the neighbouring states, including Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to allow only BS VI-compliant buses to enter Delhi, from October 1. This move will help in controlling air pollution.
Air pollution in Delhi-NCR
Air pollution in Delhi-NCR as well as the Indo Gangetic Plains depends on following factors:
- Change in Wind Direction– October marks with withdrawal of monsoons in Northwest India. During this time, north westerly winds predominate. This brings dust from northern Pakistan and Afghanistan, causing pollution.
- Reduced Wind Speed– During October month (Winters), overall speed of the winds reduces as compared to summer months, making entire region prone to air pollution because, low-speed winds are not effective at dispersing pollutants.
- Landlocked Region– Delhi is a landlocked region and is not having geographical advantage similar to eastern, western or southern parts of India, where sea breeze disperses the pollutants.
- Stubble Burning– Stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan causes a thick blanket of smog in Delhi during winters. Stubble burning emits toxic pollutants containing harmful gases like methane (CH4), volatile organic compound (VOC), carbon monoxide (CO), and carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
- Vehicular Pollution– Vehicular Pollution is the biggest cause deteriorating air quality in the region. About 20% of PM2.5 in winters comes from vehicles.
- Dust Storms– Dust storms from Gulf countries make the condition worst. Dust pollution accounts for around 56% of PM10 and PM2.5 load.