The government said that more air quality monitoring systems will be installed across the National Capital Region to monitor air pollution on eight parameters. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that around 57 polluting industries in Ghaziabad have been kept under constant watch and have been advised to improve their pollution situation.
“Monitoring air pollution should be everywhere and not at one or two places. Now monitoring is being done at 19 places. In its place, soon how to make it at 30 places (was discussed). Every state and agency will establish their air quality monitoring stations,” Javadekar said in New Delhi.
He held a meeting with Ministers and officials of National Capital Region (NCR) to review the situation arising out of air pollution in Delhi airshed area. “Ghaziabad has taken action against polluting industries. 57 such industries have been kept on constant watch list. They have been advised to improve their pollution situation,” he said.
He said that in Rajasthan, 30 brick kilns have been shut down, nine stone crushing units have been issued a showcause notice and action has been taken against 12 other units. In Punjab, bailer machines are being employed to reduce instances of stubble burning on and off the fields. A suggestion has also been made to Uttar Pradesh government to provide subsidy for bailer machines, he said.
Noting that in Delhi, one lakh vehicles have been challaned, Javadekar said that efforts are also being made to ensure smooth traffic and also to ensure that overloaded vehicles do not enter Delhi. “Testing of a new PUC checking mechanism is being carried out in Delhi and is likely to be completed by August-end.Under the new system of pollution checking, there is no scope for tampering with the results,” he said.
Javadekar said that peoples’ participation and the role of media are equally important to spread awareness and bring about an improvement in the air quality of Delhi. All the state governments and agencies in NCR have decided to work collectively and also involve the citizens to improve the air quality of Delhi and reduce pollution.
A decision to work according to timelines and with synergy between various organisations was also taken at the meeting. A three-month action plan and another action plan for one year have been formulated to tackle the four main focus areas – agriculture, construction waste and demolition waste and vehicular pollution.
He said that monitoring of air was very crucial as they give official data on all the parameters. It is not only important to monitor PM2.5 and PM10 levels but also NoX, SOX and other parameters as well. The meeting was attended by Uttar Pradesh Minister, Abhishek Mishra, Delhi Environment and Forest Minister Asim Ahmed Khan, officers from Environment Ministry, Central Pollution Board (CPCB), New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Traffic Police, as well as officials from the governments of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi were also present at the meeting.
“This is the third meeting. We care for Delhi, we care for all cities and we care for citizens who get affected by pollution and to that end our commitment is full and final,”Javadekar said. He said that a new plan by NDMC in which energy is created through waste will also start within two months. Asked on cooperation of Delhi government, the Minister said that all the states are working together as Delhi’s air is for everyone and the Centre will work for coordination amongst states.
He said whatever reports the former Union Minister Ashwani Kumar led Parliamentary panel has given on environment, his ministry will conduct a serious review and then reach a decision on the future course of action after holding a meeting in this regard next week. Delhi Environment Minister Asim Ahmed Khan said that the meeting was very good. He said that a single policy for clean Delhi air should be followed by all states and his Ministry is also doing weekly meetings to review the matter. Khan said that his government was also considering to launch new buses and the issue too was raised during the meeting.
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