INDIAN MANDALA Delhi to block heavy vehicle traffic to reduce smog

The ban will be in force from October 1, 2022 until the end of February 2023. Truckers and carriers estimate millionaire losses. In the winter months, the air in the capital becomes unbreathable: in 2019 alone, 1.67 million Indians died from air pollution.

New Delhi () – The Indian capital will prohibit the entry of heavy vehicles into the city. The measure will be in force for four months, from October 1, 2022 to the end of February 2023. This was decided yesterday by the Delhi government, which on June 15 had written to the neighboring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh so that they would only allow bus transit that meet standards to protect the environment.

The request aims to keep air pollution under control. Every day between 70,000 and 80,000 trucks enter Delhi. The vehicles that will be able to continue transiting are the commercial type that work with CNG, electric trucks and those that transport food and fuel. It is worth mentioning, however, that truckers and transport associations oppose the government’s decision. They maintain that four months of blockade is too much, and that the measure will cause millions in losses: “Companies will be affected. This will also affect government revenues and could culminate in an increase in the prices of food, vegetables and other items. said Rajendra Kapoor, president of the All India Motor and Goods Transport Association.

In India’s capital, air quality is appalling and tends to get worse in the winter months. There is normally a blockade on vehicular traffic for 15-20 days between November and December. The situation does not improve in summer either: at the beginning of June air quality was always “low” or “very low”, according to data collected by the Central Pollution Control Board, while the month of May was the worst in the last three years.

In winter, the situation worsens and the population suffers from respiratory problems: it is estimated that only in 2019 they died 1.67 million Indians due to smog and the economy lost 36.8 billion dollars.

The high levels of pollution are due to several factors: the Center for Science and Environment in Delhi estimates that in the period immediately after the blockade, traffic was responsible for 50% of the concentration of pollutants in the city.

Another contributing factor is fire: every year, farmers in Punjab and Haryana burn the residue of the previous harvest – the machines to do so “greener” are expensive and time-consuming. Last winter, the fires were especially damaging because the prolonged monsoons reduced the time to burn the stubble of rice and wheat crops.

Lastly, the city location doesn’t help: climate change has altered the paths of air currents. In winter, the speed of the winds blowing from the west is reduced: thus, sand and dust that arrive for other reasons tend to settle on the plain where Delhi is located, causing eye and respiratory problems.

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