The Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar chaired the fifth meeting of the Environment Ministers of National Capital Region (NCR) on mitigation of air pollution in Delhi NCR. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Javadekar said that Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has set up a Control Room (Contact numbers – 43102111 (landline), or 9821144193/9821144194, or (firstname.lastname@example.org) to enable people to register complaints against cases of biomass burning and that 84 such complaints had been received in the last three months and necessary action has been taken upon them. He also reiterated the importance of holding awareness-cum-training camps for 7, 000 sweepers in Delhi, so that biomass burning can be reduced. Shri Javadekar urged the Environment Ministers of NCR to strictly follow the directions issued by CPCB under Section 18 (1) of Air Act, 1981. Shri Javadekar also suggested quick implementation of the revamped Waste Management Rules, including the newly formulated Construction & Demolition Waste Management Rules to reduce air pollution. The Minister pointed out that there has been a 30 per cent reduction in stubble burning and that the states of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have banned stubble burning.
Shri Javadekar also said that pollution due to dust, emissions from industries, burning of biomass and vehicular pollution were among the major causes of air pollution. He also said that pollution from unauthorized brick kilns must be reduced.
The Minister also reiterated the Centre’s decision to implement Bharat-6 compliance for vehicles by 2020, which will significantly reduce vehicular pollution. The need to install vapour recovery equipment at petrol pumps was also emphasized at the meeting.
Ministers and representatives from state governments outlined the steps that have been taken to mitigate air pollution. In Uttar Pradesh, construction of underpasses has been started and two elevated roads are being constructed. Work on widening of NH-24 is underway and stubble burning in the state has been banned. Rajasthan government suggested that plantation of more trees can also reduce air pollution. The state government has taken strict action against polluting vehicles. Haryana government has issued directions to all local bodies on strict compliance of directives issues by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. One portion of KMP Expressway has already been made operational. In Delhi, since last y ear, 480 polluting vehicles have been fined, while the number of PUC centres has been increased from 702 to 828. The time of entry of commercial vehicles into Delhi has been rescheduled from 9.30 p.m to 11.00 p.m and efforts are being made to strictly enforce the new timing. Delhi government has also started online monitoring of power plants and waste-to-energy plant. It has also set up compost units in 346 parks in the city.
Prof Abhishek Mishra, Minister, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Raj Kumar Rinwa, Minister, Government of Rajasthan and Shri Imran Hussain, Minister, Government of NCT of Delhi, officials from New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), Delhi Traffic Police, as well as officials from the governments of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi were among those who attended the meeting.