Union Environment Minister chaired meeting with State Governments to review action taken towards mitigation of air pollution
n aggressive ten day long Clean Air Campaign from 01st to 10th November, 2018 was launched in Delhi by Union Environment Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan. To monitor and report polluting activities as well as to ensure quick action, 52 teams were jointly flagged off by Union Minister for Environment, Forest &Climate Change and the Minister from Government of Delhi. These teams will be visiting different parts of Delhi and adjacent towns of Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Noida.
The team will comprise of the local Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) as the team leader, senior official from Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and representatives from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC). While Delhi has 44 teams the cities in NCR region namely Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad have two teams each. Speaking at the flagging off ceremony, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that active participation from all concerned agencies will be required to ensure that quick action is taken on the cases of violations reported by field teams.
“In case of repeat violations, criminal proceedings against defaulters will also be initiated” added the Union Minister.
Stepping up on mitigation efforts, pilot project, Pariyayantra by a group of scientists from Manav Rachna Educational Institutions was also inaugurated today by the Union Minister wherein air enters the filters that are mounted on roof tops of city buses and gets purified of particulate matter as these buses move. The pilot project has deployed 30 buses mounted with these devices.
Dr Harsh Vardhan also chaired meeting with State Governments of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan and noted that though the incidents of stubble burning has seen a reduction of 30 percent from the previous year but overall the steps taken by the State Governments to control stubble burning are far from satisfactory. “In Punjab only daily cases of stubble burning were still running into thousands” said Dr Vardhan. He requested that effective steps be taken aggressively by State Governments to control stubble burning. He also directed Government of Delhi and NCR States to ensure 100% stoppage of open burning of domestic and industrial wastes.
A mechanism of implementation score to quantify the remediation actions, based on the observation/report of CPCB teams has also been devised by CPCB. Since 15th September, construction activities, open dumping/burning of wastes including industrial wastes, traffic congestion and road dust have been observed during inspection visit of CPCB. The scores however indicate that actions on ground are not even 10% of the incidents. Union Minister directed that all agencies should take full remedial steps expeditiously to ensure improvement in the scores.