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FM plan to fight smog

Friday, February 02, 2018

The notorious Delhi smog found a special mention in the Union Budget 2018 as Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a special scheme to tackle stubble burning in the neighbouring states of the National Capital.

The pollution and an ongoing, spiralling smog levels have led to the cancellation of flights and several long distance trains. Visibility was reduced to almost zero, even leading to traffic snarls on national highways.The pollution and air quality problem in Delhi-NCR is an alarming one. Mr. Jaitley said that a special scheme would be implemented to support Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi NCT to address this and subsidise machinery for management of crop residue.

The Union government will assist the State governments to set up a in-situ machinery for disposing crop residue in a way the environment is not adversely affected.

The pollution levels in the capital rose to worrying levels last year, forcing educational institutions and industries to shut down twice in November 2017. At the same time last year, in December, when the Sri Lankan cricket team came visiting, a few players even vomitted on the field (in the third and final test match), owing to dizziness caused due to the rising smog levels. Some cricketers from Lanka were even seen exiting the field, citing reasons such as discomfort and unsuitable and unplayable environmental conditions. The Indian cricket board (BCCI) said that at the time of scheduling a match, they would factor in Delhi's pollution.

We will have to wait and watch whether the FM's new 'scheme' will give the capital any respite or it will be just old wine in a new bottle? We don't know yet, but he may just be the greatest of all time.

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