Delhi Environment Minister directs authorities for combating pollution

New Delhi: Delhi’s Environment Minister Imran Hussain on Thursday convened a high-level meeting to review the implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) mandated by Supreme Court of India for combatting and mitigating air pollution in Delhi in view of the prevailing metrological conditions in the whole of northern India.

He was informed by the concerned department that the main reasons for the present conditions in Delhi are temperature inversion, meteorological conditions, and low wind speed which do not allow the pollutants to disperse easily in the atmosphere.

Officials in the meeting stated that with the forecast of an increase in wind speed, the AQI is likely to improve in coming days.

During the meeting, DPCC informed that different actions are being taken by the agencies concerned including increased frequency of mechanized road sweeping and water sprinkling especially at pollution hot spots, stopping usage of DG sets, increasing the frequency of bus and metro services, ban on coal and firewood burning in hotels and eateries, involvement of Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) for providing electric heaters to security guards to reduce the garbage/ leaf burning and public advisory in the media regarding ill effect of air pollution and to remain indoors.

Delhi minister Hussain also directed the Municipal Corporations to increase enforcement of compliance of directions regarding the prohibition of permitting uncovered building material on their respective roads/spaces. They were also directed to ensure that during the period(s) of the ban on construction, no one indulges in such activities and that violators are strictly dealt with as per law. Further, for effective control of dust, conditions stipulated in the sanctioned building plan for construction of the building must be strictly followed by the owners and builders.

Transport Department was also directed to continue enforcement action with more vigor in the coming weeks also.

Hussain further asked 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.