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In a bid to reduce air-pollution, Delhi Government will subsidize use of electric tandoors



Your favourite winter delicacies – juicy kebabs, smoked vegetables and flatbreads – will now not be made in the traditional coal or wood-fired tandoors at restaurants, but brand new electric ones. Almost all registered eateries, hotels and banquet halls across the ‘foodie’ markets of Hauz Khas, Paharganj, Lajpat Nagar, Jama Masjid, Nizamuddin, etc., will make the shift with the Delhi government determined to stop air pollution created by their smouldering ovens.

In a meeting of the Delhi Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday, it was decided that they will now provide a subsidy of 50 per cent or Rs 5,000, whichever is higher, to all the 9,000 such registered eating joints in Delhi that still use a coal-based tandoor to shift to clean electric ones.

“Those restaurants that opened up post-April 1 this year and use electric ones can also claim the financial incentive from the government,” the CM said.

This was a crucial recommendation made by the IIT (Kanpur) ‘Air Pollution Source Apportionment’ study of Delhi-NCR back in year 2016. Authored by Professor Mukesh Sharma, it had stated that coal and fly ash are the largest contributors to PM 10 (particulate matter less than 10 micron in diametre) and PM 2.5in the city.

As opposed to gaseous pollutants like Carbon Dioxide (Co2), Sulphur Oxides and Nitrogen Oxides, Particulate Matter (PM) is a bigger worry for health practitioners and environmentalists as it gets absorbed in the upper and lower part of the lung. It then leads to asthma and travels into the bloodstream to cause heart attacks and cancer.

Of the 37,171 kg/day and 18,369 kg/day of PM 10 and PM 2.5 that circulates in Delhi, at least 3,493 kg/day and 1,758 kg/day of the same is from hotel and restaurant emissions. The IIT-K study was commissioned by the Delhi government in 2012 and it analysed several contributory sources of Delhi’s hazardous air – vehicles, power plants, industries, traffic, hotels and open burning of municipal solid waste at the garbage mountains.

“The total number of hotel and restaurant enterprises in Delhi is 36,099 (as per the Delhi Statistical Hand Book, 2014). We assume that 25 per cent of these enterprises use tandoor for food preparation,” the report had said. “During the field survey, it was observed that hotels, restaurants, etc., use coal as fuel in tandoors. As the tandoor business is at its peak in winters, the coal pollution goes up in this season. The DPCC will oversee and implement the transition.

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