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Government’s anti-pollution plan hits a hurdle, own dept calls air purifiers ‘unreliable’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government’s plan of installing air purifiers in the national Capital on a pilot basis has hit a major roadblock, with its own department terming the project “unreliable”.Earlier this month, the Environment and Urban Development Departments of the Delhi government had come together to announce that five major intersections in the Capital will be fitted with air purifiers. The work of installing these purifiers was given to the Public Works Department (PWD), sources said.In the project feasibility report, however, the PWD stated that these purifiers might not be of any use and called them unreliable.”Our engineers studied various models of air purifiers and found that they had little use in Indian conditions. The department couldn’t find any success models,” said a senior PWD official. “We have submitted the feasibility report but the final decision will still be taken by the Delhi government,” he added.Even environmentalists have slammed the air purifier idea, claiming that this was not a long-term solution to Delhi’s problems. “The move is not well thought out. Air purifiers can work well only in closed spaces. The Delhi government, with its experts and teams of accomplished officials, should look at long-term solutions rather than looking for an easy way out,” said environmentalist Bharti Chaturvedi.Pollution level in the national Capital remains consistently alarming, prompting the authorities to try various experiments. The air purifier plan also included installation of virtual chimneys and mist fountains. The purifiers were to be installed at five sites worst affected by pollution — Anand Vihar, ITO, Sarai Kale Khan, Kashmere Gate and IIT-Delhi or AIIMS.Delhi Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain had said at the time of the announcement that the government, in collaboration with the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and IIT-Bombay, will establish the system within 45 days. “We also plan to install a mist fountain at one intersection, the water from which can be recycled. We can bring down PM 2.5 and PM 10 in the air by using mist fountain, and will soon identify the location,” he had said.This latest experiment by the Delhi government was announced after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the the government to convene a meeting of authorities concerned to come up with a solution to tackle the worsening air quality. The order came after the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) apprised the green court that there was no improvement in air quality in Delhi during the second week of the Odd-Even scheme in April.

Air purifiers, mist fountain to curb air pollution in Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a first, Delhi government on Friday announced a three-tier air treatment system which includes setting up of wind purification units, mist fountains and virtual chimney at five major traffic intersections on trial basis to deal with rising air pollution in city. The air treatment system has potential to reduce carbon monoxide and particulate emission by 40%-60% emission in 20-30 m radius during peak hours of traffic, Government sources claimed.Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain, who is also the head of Delhi Task Force formed to formulate policy to curb air pollution, said the government in collaboration with National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and IIT (Bombay) set up the entire system within 45 days. He said that air purifiers will be installed at five major traffic intersections – Anand Vihar, ITO, Sarai Kalen Khan, Kashmere Gate and IIT (Delhi) or AIIMS.Besides, government will also install a mist fountain at one traffic intersection which is yet to identified as a pilot project to curb air pollution. This is for the first time that the city administration has taken such steps to bring down rising air pollution in the city. The announcement comes after Jain held a meeting with NEERI Director Rakesh Kumar. IIT (Bombay) has also been engaged by NEERI for design and solutions.Pollutant-loaded air continued to hang heavy in the national capital ahead of Diwali, when pollution is likely to peak, prompting authorities to urge residents to refrain from bursting firecrackers which they said emit cancer-causing smoke.”We also plan to install a mist fountain at one intersection. We can bring down PM 2.5 and PM 10 in the air by using mist fountain,” Jain said. He said that in Pune, air purifiers have been installed where there have been good results and they can be set up at the central verge of the roads.”Air treatment system will in place one-and-a-half months. The system will help bring down air pollution in Delhi in winter months as pollution is at its peak in December and January,” said a senior government official.The minister has appealed the residents of Delhi not to burst firecrackers in Delhi to make the city’s air clean.Nearly all the monitoring stations active in the city, cutting across agencies, had PM 2.5 and PM 10 (ultrafine pollutants) several times above the safe limit of 60 and 100 micrograms per cubic metre, keeping the air in the very poor category. For the second consecutive day, pollutants (PM 10) in Anand Vihar shot up nine times above the safe limit when checked in real-time around 12 PM as per the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) Punjabi Bagh, RK Puram stations had AQI in the severe category which affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases.

Odd Even scheme: 678 challaned for violating rules on second day

The Delhi Traffic Police on Saturday challaned as many 678 people for violating the odd-even rules on second day. Meanwhile, a day after snags disrupted services on Metro Red Line, leaves of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) staff have been cancelled till April 30. A five-member task force has also been formed to deal with any emergency. The snapping of overhead wire at four places between Kashmere Gate and Shastri Park stations had thrown services on the Red Line out of gear for several hours on Friday leaving thousands of passengers stranded. The 23-km-long Red Line connects east Delhi’s Dilshad Garden to Rithala, located in the north-west Delhi. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Airtel’s Sunil Mittal, Paytm’s Vijay Shekar given honorary degrees by Amity University

Bharti Enterprises CEO Sunil Bharti Mittal, and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar were on Saturday given honorary degrees by the Manesar campus of Amity University. In its second convocation, the Manesar campus saw the graduation of 862 children along with Mittal and Shekar.Described as “a man of immense purpose and resources, who is a trailblazer in the field of Indian telecommunications,” Mittal was conferred the degree by university founder Atul Chauhan and Vice-Chancellor PB Sharma.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking to the eager graduates, Mittal described how on a similar day in 1976 he waited for his degree from the Wharton School.”When I started, there was little space for young entrepreneurs like me, and the government controlled everything — what you made, how much and when. Today, you can dream of what you want, make that and there will be loads of capital,” he said. “What sets apart a good entrepreneur from someone who doesn’t make it is the tenacity, passion and patience to cross the line.” He asked the graduates to look for opportunities in spaces where one can find a solution to a social problem.”It is when we got big and lazy did someone like Vijay came in. Every now and then, the big boys will slip,” he said.Vijay Shekhar, who was given the degree soon after, was brought on to the dias as someone who was “farsighted and hardworking, and struck the lives of millions of Indians”, said that he was proud to have the degree. He spoke of how hard it was for him in engineering college as he came from a Hindi background, and even shared his fandom for Mittal. “I wrote blogs on him,” he shared.He said that he worked hard after college to get his company up and running, and would walk 14 kilometres from Vasant Vihar to Kashmere Gate as he did not have money for travel. “Before I launched Paytm, my company had made $25million in profit, and even my board of directors told me that it was a bad decision. After we had spent $10million, and the warning signals were ringing, I told my team, ‘Either we will be a comet and fade away, or we will shine bright as a star,” he said.He asked the graduates to take advantage of the fact that India’s GDP will double in the next 4-5 years. Mittal, speaking to dna, said, “He’s absolutely right. We’re looking at thousands of Vijays in the coming years.”

Indian Coast Guard detains Pakistan boat off Gujarat coast

The Indian Coast Guard detained a Pakistani boat with 11 crew members on Saturday.The boat will be brought to Jakhau later in the day.Further details are awaited. In the country’s anti-terror crackdown, one more person suspected to be working for the Islamic State (IS) has been arrested from Delhi by the capital’s special cell police on Friday. Mohsinh Ibrahim Sayyed, who hails from Mumbai was arrested from Delhi’s Kashmere Gate ISBT area. He was found to be in possession of Rs 85,000.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of Republic Day, the NIA has arrested 13 suspected ISIS sympathisers for plotting attacks in different parts of the country.Of the 14 suspects detained yesterday, 13 have been arrested, according to a Home Ministry spokesman.The arrests were made following simultaneous searches and raids conducted at 12 locations in six cities–Bangalore, Tumkur, Mangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Lucknow on Saturday with the support of local police forces.With agency inputs.