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Delhi environment minister requests Centre to share SAFAR's technical expertise to curb pollution

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: October 15, 2019  | 16:21 IST

New Delhi, Oct 15 (PTI) Delhi's Environment Minister Kailash Gehlot on Tuesday wrote to Union Minister of Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan urging him to share technical expertise of the ministry's air quality and weather forecast service, SAFAR, so that the city government can take immediate corrective measures to curb air pollution. In the letter to Harsh Vardhan, Gehlot stressed that stubble burning in Delhi's neighbouring states during the month of November has "always contributed significantly to higher PM2.5 levels in Delhi". Citing a news report, the Delhi minister said the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) has stated that farm fires contributed just 2 per cent to Delhi's overall PM2.5 concentration. "It has been indicated that it's likely to increase to 6 per cent." Gehlot said that as per media reports, SAFAR has the technology to indicate contribution in terms of percentage of stubble burning towards PM2.5 levels in Delhi on a particular day. "This means that SAFAR also has the technology and equipment to do some allocation of pollution on real time basis," he said, requesting the Union ministry to grant access to data on the sources of pollution everyday. "I would request you to share the technical expertise developed by SAFAR in this regard so that the Delhi government can benefit from the same.... I understand your ministry is equally concerned and both the governments can work together to reduce pollution levels in Delhi," he said. On Monday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal to do something about stubble burning in Delhi's neighbouring states. He had earlier said that all the gains achieved so far on the the pollution front in Delhi will be nullified if immediate steps were not taken to stop crop residue burning. However, the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority has asserted that local sources of pollution in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are the primary reason for the city's deteriorating air quality. PTI GVS SMN SMN

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