Seen here in the pic is Harsh Vardhan chairing the meeting to tackle the issue of air pollution along with Chief Minister of Delhi NCTArvind Kejriwal and other dignitaries on 12 December 2017.
Seen here in the pic is Harsh Vardhan chairing the meeting to tackle the issue of air pollution along with Chief Minister of Delhi NCTArvind Kejriwal and other dignitaries on 12 December 2017.

Anti Pollution Drive in January 2018 to tackle air pollution in Delhi

To work in a collaborative manner on tackling the issue of air pollution in Delhi- in a high profile meeting led by the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Harsh Vardhan, Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Minister for PWD, Government of Delhi, Satendra Jain, Minister for Environment, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Dara Singh Chauhan, Environment  Minister, Government of Haryana, Vipul Goyal and Secretary, Environment, Government of Rajasthan and Chairman, Pollution Control Board, Government of Punjab and senior officers from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and MoEF&CC as well as CPCB jointly deliberated on a roadmap for tackling the issue hollistically.

Emphasising that tackling pollution is a collective responsibility of all the stakeholders and that cooperation from all is required, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Harsh Vardhan has expressed confidence that pollution will be tackled in a holistic manner next year.  Chairing a meeting on the issue of tackling air pollution Harsh Vardhan reiterated that the practice of holding regular meetings with the Ministers of National Capital Region (NCR), to ensure that all the activities on the ground are monitored closely, will be continued.

Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, said that all sources that have been identified will be tackled to ensure that mitigation of air pollution is done effectively in Delhi. He added that the Government of Delhi will work closely with all agencies in tackling pollution.

The meeting noted that the air quality in 2017 was better than the air quality in 2016. The number of good, moderate and satisfactory days in 2017 were 151, whereas the same were 109 days in 2016. Similarly, the number of very poor, poor and severe days in 2017 are 181, as compared to 214 days in 2016.

Some of the decisions taken at the meeting include –

Strict measures to be taken for controlling dust pollution. Dust from major construction sites will be monitored closely and any violation will be dealt with strictly. Mechanised sweeping will be taken up on a large scale. All possible assistance will be provided to the MCDs by the Central Government for increasing the scope of mechanised sweeping;

Fire from municipal solid waste dump sites will be tackled in an urgent manner. Innovative approaches, in consultation with Department of Science and Technology, will be adopted at the earliest to ensure that the issue of pollution is tackled;

It was noted that the Task Force Committee headed by Principal Secretary to Prime Minister is examining the issue of stubble burning. It was further noted that an action plan to address this issue will be ready in the next one month;

It was decided that the decision regarding ban on petcoke and furnace oil will be strictly enforced in all the NCR states;

Delhi Police will be requested to tackle the issue of traffic congestion and parking in Delhi;

All steps will be taken to increase availability of public transport in the medium term.

The Pollution Control Boards will work in a proactive manner to ensure that violators are dealt with strictly.  They will also ensure that awareness is created among the people. It was also decided that IEC activities to increase awareness and seeking cooperation from the general public will be taken up in a big way.

A special “Anti Pollution Drive” will be launched in the month of January, 2018 for 15 days, wherein there will be concerted action to tackle the issue of air pollution by all the agencies; and close interaction to be maintained with Science and Technology institutions to use innovative technologies available to tackle air pollution.

News Update|22 December 2o17| Ministry of Environment and Forests take on Air Pollution

India has one of the largest urban systems in the world, with many cities located in agro-climatic zones which have high levels of particulate matter due to natural reasons such as Gangetic plains. India is also home to over 16% of global population, though it has only 2.5% of the geographical area of the world.  Due to these reasons India has a large number of cities that do not meet norms related to air quality standards. Further, the methodology for assessment of pollution in various parts of world is not same. Countries can be ranked on the basis of different criteria pollutants with different results. As such it is difficult to compare different countries since they differ in their various characteristics,” said a communique released by the Ministry of Environment and Forests on 22 December 2017.

The Government has taken several steps to address air pollution which inter alia, include notification of National Ambient Air Quality Standards; setting up of monitoring network for assessment of ambient air quality; introduction of cleaner / alternate fuels like gaseous fuel (CNG, LPG etc.), ethanol blending, launching of National Air Quality index; universalization of BS-IV by 2017; leapfrogging from BS-IV to BS-VI fuel standards by 1st April, 2020; notification of Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules; banning of burning of biomass; promotion of public transport network; streamlining the issuance of Pollution Under Control Certificate; issuance of directions under Section 18(1)(b) of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; installation of on-line continuous (24×7) monitoring devices by major industries, etc.  Abatement of pollution is largely the responsibility of State Governments, local bodies, agencies of the State Governments and industrial units.

The Government of India supplements the efforts of State Governments, etc.  Government provides funds to CPCB for its various activities, including air pollution mitigation efforts… National Air Quality Index (NAQI) has been launched, which classifies air quality into good, satisfactory, moderate, poor, very poor, and severe categories. Government has also undertaken a number of awareness building programs to highlight the issue of air pollution. Ministry launched campaigns such as ‘Harit Diwali and Swasth Diwali’ and ‘Swachh Hawa for Swachh and Swasth Bharat’ covering over two lakh schools in the country.

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