Delhi braces for pollution with emergency plan

Smog spikes during winter in Delhi, when air quality often eclipses the World Health Organization’s safe levels. (AFP)
Updated 15 October 2018
0

Delhi braces for pollution with emergency plan

  • Under the new strategy, restrictions on construction sites and traffic will be imposed depending on the air quality

NEW DELHI, India: Delhi’s biggest coal power plant was set to shut down Monday as a new emergency plan to improve air quality in one of the world’s most polluted cities came into force, Indian officials said.
Under the new strategy, restrictions on construction sites and traffic will be imposed depending on the air quality in the megacity of some 20 million people.
When the air is classed as “poor,” as it was on Monday, authorities will ban the burning of garbage in landfills as well as fire crackers and certain construction activities.
When the air is “very poor” diesel generators will be halted, parking fees hiked and more public transport provided. “Severe” measures include closing brick kilns.
When it reaches “severe+,” a new category, authorities will stop the entry of trucks except those with essential goods and regulate the number of cars on the road.
The Badarpur thermal plant was due to permanently close on Monday because of its high contribution to pollution in the city.
Smog spikes during winter in Delhi, when air quality often eclipses the World Health Organization’s safe levels.
Cooler air traps pollutants — such as from vehicles, building sites and farmers burning crops in regions outside the Indian capital — close to the ground.
Authorities in the sprawling city attempted to implement similar measures last winter but to little avail.
This is partly because authorities are powerless to prevent some sources of pollution.
“Our aim is to stop the air quality from deteriorating further though certain factors are out of our control such as crop burning, wind speed and lack of public transportation,” environment authority official Bhure Lal said.


No public details on crashed Lion Air voice recorder until final report

Updated 5 min 31 sec ago
0

No public details on crashed Lion Air voice recorder until final report

  • The contents of the jet’s second black box could provide a detailed account of the last actions of the pilots
  • The Oct. 29 crash, which killed all those on board, was the world’s first of a Boeing Co. 737 MAX jet and the deadliest of 2018

JAKARTA: Indonesian authorities do not plan to provide a public update on the contents of a cockpit voice recorder from a Lion Air jet that crashed, killing 189 people, until a final report is released in August or September, an official said on Tuesday.
The Oct. 29 crash, which killed all those on board, was the world’s first of a Boeing Co. 737 MAX jet and the deadliest of 2018.
The contents of the jet’s second black box, which were recovered from the Java Sea north of the capital, Jakarta, on Jan. 14, could provide a detailed account of the last actions of the pilots.
The recording needs to be filtered first due to “background sounds” hindering the transcription, said Soerjanto Tjahjono, the chief of the transportation safety committee (KNKT).
“It might take one or two weeks because it was noisy inside (the cockpit),” he told Reuters. The transcription would not be made public until KNKT’s final report is released “between August to September,” he said.
Under international rules, a final crash report is due within 12 months if that is possible.
Contact with flight JT610 was lost 13 minutes after it took off from Jakarta, heading north to the tin-mining town of Pangkal Pinang.
The preliminary report released by KNKT in November focused on airline maintenance and training, as well as the response of a Boeing anti-stall system and a recently replaced sensor, but did not give a cause for the crash.
Lion Air has faced scrutiny over its maintenance and training standards since the crash. Relatives of victims have filed at least three lawsuits against Boeing.