With the air quality index putting Delhi’s air under ‘severe category’, the Delhi Government on Tuesday took a slew of measures to mitigate air pollution. Environment Minister Imran Husain banned garbage burning, stubble burning, vehicular, industrial emission, construction and demolition waste and use of power generators/Diesel generators sets.
Delhi Pollution Control Committee(DPCC) issued clear cut instructions in this regard. The order also stated that dusty and dug up roads, traffic black holes are also being monitored. Among other restrictions, the apex court on October 23 had ruled that manufacture and sale of “green crackers” which have low emission of light, sound and harmful chemicals would be allowed.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday, however, modified its order which had fixed 8 PM to 10 PM as slot for bursting firecrackers on Diwali and other festivals, saying that authorities in states are at liberty to change the timings, but the duration will not exceed two hours a day.
"Measures have beeninitiated to ease congestion on the city roads. With a motto -'Save Delhi and keep your lungs healthy'. A joint team comprising of 44 members from civic agencies, DPCC will act as pollution inspector and keep an eye on any violation", Hussain said.
The Minister informed that this urgent campaign is being jointly organised by the Delhi and the Centre Government, which will appeal to the citizens to strictly avoid all such activities which lead escalation in the air pollution.
"Strict punitive action against the violators of dust control measures and those found indulging in burning waste material/plastic/garbage etc. in open will be taken. The joint campaign for clean air has been initially scheduled for a week," a statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office stated.
The joint Campaign will be flagged-off at the Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, Jor Bagh, Aliganj, New Delhi on 1st November (Thursday) by the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and the Delhi Environment Minister.
All the three Municipal Corporations, Public Works Department (PWD), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Cantonment Board, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation have been directed to ensure that the construction activities undertaken by them are supervised by them. It should not lead to emission of dust from the construction sites.
They should ensure that water is regularly sprinkled on the building material, it should also remain covered and the construction site should be effectively covered for preventing dust emanating from the it.
The Minister also asked these agencies to increase the frequency of mechanical sweeping and sprinkling of water on the roads so that the dust and fugitive emissions do not remain suspended in the air.
The Minister himself is taking regular rounds and conducting surprise inspections in various parts of Delhi everyday for checking the implementation of dust control norms and instances of burning in the open.
In order to check vehicular pollution, Transport Department has intensified action against visibly polluting vehicles and vehicles not having Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates.
Meanwhile, Hussain conducted surprise inspection at under construction site, Mahipalpur underpass and flyover.
As no arrangements of water sprinkling for settling dust particles were there, the Minister ordered punitive action against contractor and fined the delinquent contractor to pay affine of Rs five lakh.