IASbhai DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB: 26th OCTOBER 2019
Redeveloping Central Vista
Gujarat firm wins consultancy bid to redevelop Central Vista
WHY IN NEWS?
HCP Design, Planning and Management to be paid ₹229.75 crore for masterplan: Hardeep Puri
GS 1:Indian Heritage:architecture
For PRELIMS you need to understand why parliament building was constructed.What was its actual purpose?
For MAINS you have to look for pros and cons.
So who won the bid ?
- An Ahmedabad-based architecture firm that carried out the development of the Sabarmati riverfont in Gujarat in 2002 has been chosen to lead the Central government’s ambitious revamp of Parliament and the Central Vista.
- For these services, it would be paid a consultancy fee of ₹229.75 crore.
- However, he said the final cost of the project would be determined by the tendering process for the projects, which he said would be on the ground by May 2020.
- Central Public Works Department officials said the usual formula may not be applicable to this project, with two officials saying a rough estimate was ₹12,450 crore.
- Before the masterplan and designs are locked in, Mr. Puri said the firm would have public consultations. The government has set the deadlines of November 2021 for the revamp of the 3-km-long Central Vista, March 2022 for the redevelopment of Parliament and March 2024 for the construction of the common central secretariat for ministries.
Need for the revamp?
- Mr. Puri said the buildings, like Parliament House and North and South Blocks, were constructed around 100 years ago and did not have the space and amenities needed today.
- The redevelopment of Parliament would add offices for all MPs and could include a new building connected to the existing heritage structure with a walkway,
- Parliament, North and South Blocks would not be demolished, unlike some of the government offices constructed post-Independence, but their usage could change.
So who actually built the Present Parliament?
- Originally called the House of Parliament, it was designed by the British architects Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker in 1912-1913
Who was the Viceroy during this time ?
- Lord Irwin.
SOURCES: THE HINDU
Air quality likely to plunge to ‘severe’ category after Diwali
WHY IN NEWS?
Impact to remain for a short period with about ‘half’ the magnitude of 2018 Diwali
The Air Quality Index was 284 on Friday, slightly lower than 311 on Thursday.
For PRELIMS you need to learn what is SAFAR
For MAINS you have to see the ill effects of Air pollution in a land locked city.
The air quality of Delhi is likely to spike to “severe” category in the wee hours of Monday due to the effect of firecrackers on Diwali night. But it will be for a short period with about “half” the magnitude of Diwali in 2018, according to government-run monitoring agency, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
SAFAR had considered two scenarios in its Diwali prediction: First, zero firecracker emissions and second, 50% of average firecracker emission of 2017 and 2018.
“We considered 50% of the average emission of 2017 and 2018 as only green crackers are allowed this year and their emissions are lesser by about 30-40%. On top of that due to increased awareness, we expect a dip of about 10% in use of firecrackers and hence the emissions are expected to be 50% less than last two years,”
What is SAFAR?
System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
Which Ministry ?
- Ministry of Earth Sciences
Air Quality and Weather Forecast System– SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting) at Chandni Chowk in Delhi. I
Pilot projects implemented in:
- Three cities of India- Pune, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting)
Who developed it?
- SAFAR was developed indigenously by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and operationalized by India Meteorological Department (IMD).
- It is integral part of India’s first Air Quality Early Warning System operational in Delhi.
- It will monitor all weather parameters like temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed and wind direction.
- It also will measure sun’s UV-Index (UVI), PM1, Mercury and Black carbon in real time in addition to regular air quality and weather parameters like PM2.5, PM10, Sulfur Dioxide, Ozone, Nitrogen Oxides, Carbon Monoxide.
- It can also provide measurement of online automatic ultrafine particles PM1 and Mercury, both of which have direct relevance to human health. It will also monitor existence harmful pollutants of Benzene, Toluene and Xylene.
- SAFAR has giant true colour LED display which gives out real-time air quality index on 24×7 basis with colour coding alongwith 72-hour advance forecast.
- Based on Air Quality Index on particular day, health advisory and related precaution will be notified to prepare citizens well in advance.
SAFAR will accelerate public awareness and preparedness of air pollution and weather extremes. It will also lead to better understanding of linkages among emissions, weather, pollution and climate.
It will strengthen existing air quality network of SAFAR, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).
Besides health, SAFAR system will benefit cost savings to several other sectors like agriculture, aviation, infrastructure, disaster management skill, tourism and many others, which directly or indirectly get affected by air quality and weather.
PMO tells States to address stubble burning issue
WHY IN NEWS?
Meeting held to oversee implementation of Graded Response Action Plan
GS 3:Air pollution:GRAP
For PRELIMS you need to analyse what is GRAP,features and its significance.
For MAINS you have to script a wonderful answer with respect to actions taken by human beings to tackle the pollution havoc !
Officers from these two States have committed to the PMO that they would immediately deploy as much machinery as possible to address stubble burning.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Delhi government, municipal bodies of Delhi, experts from the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, The Energy Resources Institute and the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture
According to Friday’s assessment by weather forecast agency SAFAR, the impact of stubble burning from Haryana & Punjab is “moderate but gradually increasing.” Experts had earlier said that this weekend is particularly crucial for air quality due to Diwali which will see bursting of crackers as well as heightened traffic.
On Thursday, the GRAP Task Force recommended that hot mix plants, stone-crushers and construction activities that generate dust are prohibited from October 26 to 30 in Delhi.
What is GRAP?
Recommended by Supreme Court in 2016.
When GRAP kicks in ?
- GRAP is in only when pollution is moderate to poor instead of starting when the air is good or satisfactory, perhaps because it is an emergency plan.
- As a result, in 2018 Delhi had 5 good pollution days, 66 moderate, 145 poor, 57 very poor and 92 severe days.
For example, when AQI is moderate to poor, GRAP suggests 10 actions when air quality is moderate to poor:
- Stop garbage burning and impose fine;
- enforce regulations on brick kilns;
- enforce pollution control on power plants;
- periodic mechanised sweeping on roads with heavy traffic and water sprinkling on unpaved roads;
- vigilance for visible emissions and enforcing pollution under control (PUC) norms;
- dust control in construction activities; deploy traffic police for smooth traffic flow;
- enforce Supreme Court order to allow entry of trucks registered only after 2005; enforce ban on firecrackers; water fly ash ponds every two days in summer.
Nearly seven of these activities already have regulations in place. But the words “strictly enforce” or “ensure regulations”, “increase vigilance” suggest that these are not really meant to be followed in normal conditions.
For example, why should garbage be burnt at all even when the air is good? Is the activity forbidden or not? This needs to be clarified.
When pollution reaches severe levels, GRAP suggests stopping power plants, brick kilns, etc.
Owners suffer losses for stopping and starting, or not operating such plants and industries. Their economic viability is compromised anyway and they may as well start with the right technology knowing what the rules are and what it will cost.
To encourage investment in alternative technology, it is necessary to insist on the right type of activities from the inception itself at the time of registration. Acting only when there is an emergency has enormous costs and poor results. We need to get used to the idea that clean air is not free if we wish to grow at a rapid scale.
Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) is the guiding principle for air pollution management for Delhi and NCR, pioneered by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and implemented by Environmental Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA).
We need, however, to start with zero tolerance for air pollution and examine any and every activity that disturbs it – just as we exercise and eat well when we are healthy and not wait till we get sick. This is the major change we need to bring in.
SOURCES: THE HINDU
Kyarr intensifies into severe cyclonic storm; to bring heavy rains,
WHY IN NEWS?
Strong winds in Karnataka and Maharashtra
- 5th cyclonic storm of the season.
- Kyarr is expected to move West-North-West towards the Oman coast during the next five days, a familiar track for Arabian Sea cyclones that form during the monsoon transition period.
- Gale winds with speed reaching up to 100 km/hr gusting to 110 km/hr is prevailing around the cyclone centre over the East-Central Arabian Sea.
SOURCES: THE HINDU
Diwali dampener: expect showers till Tuesday
WHY IN NEWS?
inaugurating the first ever batch of “green crackers” using Neeri’s formula.
#The not so eco-friendly formulae
Birth of Green Crackers:
- In an attempt to control air pollution, the Supreme Court bans crackers using barium, which accounted for nearly 75% of crackers sold.
- The ruling allows the use of only “green crackers” across the country.
- It tasks the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri) with facilitating their development.
- The final product is subject to Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization’s (PESO’s) approval.
FINAL PRODUCTION :
Neeri claims to have come up with two formulae for green crackers: one minus barium, another with reduced quantities of barium. Without PESO’s approval, it shares the formulae with the manufacturers for bulk production.
Who has developed it ?
What are green crackers?
- These are less harmful and less dangerous than the conventional patthakas, with reduced emission and decibel level.
- They are known as ‘green’ firecrackers because they have a chemical formulation that produces water molecules, which substantially reduces emission levels and absorbs dust.
- It promises a reduction in particulate matters and harmful gases, like nitrous oxide and sulfur oxide, by 30- 35 per cent.
- The green crackers will be 25-30 per cent cheaper to manufacture and manufacturers would not have to make any changes in their facilities.
What gives colour to the firecrackers?
|Color||Metal in salt|
|Purple||Combination of strontium and copper|
|Silver||White hot magnesium and aluminum|
|White||Burning magnesium, aluminum, or titanium|
SOURCES: THE LIVEMINT
How do they measure test results to, say, check if the outcome is low on emissions?
“Green crackers is a well-intentioned proposition but not well thought out.
Let us know in comment section !!!