Delhi: Amidst declining air quality, Imran Hussain reviews action plan

New Delhi: Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain on Tuesday reviewed the preparedness and action plan of the various stakeholder departments for implementing the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) mandated by the Supreme Court for combating and mitigating air pollution in New Delhi.

The meeting was attended by the Chief Secretary, Commissioners of North, South and East Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Chairman of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), Secretary (Environment), Secretary (Transport and Power), and Special Secretary (Industries), Chief Engineer of Public Works Department (PWD) along with other senior officers of the departments or agencies concerned.

The three municipal corporations informed that mechanical sweeping of the roads including the PWD roads is going on regularly for preventing suspension and re-suspension of dust due to plying of vehicles.

The three municipal corporations and the NDMC were directed to ensure that no uncovered building material is permitted on their respective roads. They were also directed to ensure that the conditions laid down in the sanctioned building plan for construction of the building are strictly followed by the owners and builders for effective control of dust.

It was also decided that two joint teams of officials from the Revenue Department, respective Municipal Corporations and Civil Defence Volunteers are deputed in each of the Districts for monitoring construction activity and taking preventing and punitive action against the violators of Dust Control Norms.

In this regard, special emphasis was laid on the municipal corporations and the PWD to ensure that dust control norms are strictly complied by them also while undertaking building construction activity. The Minister directed the Delhi Metro to ensure that construction activity does not lead to aggravation of air pollution in the national capital.

The Industries Department and Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (DSIIDC) were directed to put into action the plan for proper disposal of waste generated by the industrial units especially in Narela and Bawana Industrial areas. The officers concerned informed that night marshals have also been deputed to keep a vigil on the incidence of fire burning in industrial areas at night.

Transport Department informed that the present strength of 25 odd vehicles has been doubled from this week for monitoring and for taking action against the visible polluting vehicles, vehicles not having pollution certificates and against the vehicles more than 15 years old.

Traffic Police informed that they have been actively diverting non-destined vehicles from entering into Delhi. They are also issuing challans and taking punitive action against the people parking their vehicles on the roads which obstruct the normal flow of traffic.

Hussain observed that ready-mixed concrete plants need to be inspected regularly for checking air pollution. He urged all three Commissioners of the MCD to ensure control of instances of burning in open and compliance of dust control measures, failing which senior officers should be held accountable.

Hussain directed the PWD and Delhi Fire Services to undertake water sprinkling especially after Diwali for settling the suspended dust particles.

He also directed all the stakeholder departments and agencies to remain prepared for taking mandated actions under ‘very poor’ and ‘severe/ severe plus’ categories of air quality index in Delhi.