Delhi govt to prepare three-level action plan to curb pollution

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Updated: February 27, 2020 9:30:29 PM

Gopal Rai held a meeting with experts who suggested the government to issue a direction to agencies that no outdoor construction activities should be conducted in winters when the pollution levels rise and only indoor construction activities should be allowed during the same period.

Suggestions will be sent to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal next week and a final action plan will be prepared. (PTI)

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Thursday said the AAP government will prepare a three-level action plan — quarterly, annually and five years — to reduce pollution in the national capital. Rai held a meeting with experts who suggested the government to issue a direction to agencies that no outdoor construction activities should be conducted in winters when the pollution levels rise and only indoor construction activities should be allowed during the same period.

The minister said the experts also suggested an inter-state action committee based on the airshed so that the government can study the impact created from either side. Rai said the suggestions will be sent to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal next week and a final action plan will be prepared.

“A special action plan for three month will be prepared to deal with pollution in winter. An annual action and a five-year action plan will also prepared to curb pollution in Delhi,” Rai said. He said that experts suggested increasing budgetary allocation for the environment. “The environment department works like a nodal agency and in coordination with other departments. So, the adequate budget will be allocated so that the environment department can smoothly function,” he said. He said that the contribution of biomass to air pollution is less in summers compared to winters and the data shows that in summers it is 8-10 per cent while in winters it is 25-30 per cent.

Though coal plants have been closed down in Delhi, pollutants from coal plants situated in the neighbouring states enter the airshed in the national capital, he said. Similarly, stubble burning in other states contributes to air pollution in Delhi though there are very few instances of stubble burning in the city. Therefore, the experts suggested forming an action committee that includes representatives of departments from various states, Rai said.

“We should create a joint action committee based on the airshed so that we can study the impact created from either side,” the minister also said. The experts suggested that the government should have an action plan for the entire year so that it does not have immense pressure during the winter season when the pollution is at its worst levels. “So, the experts have suggested to us that we should design an action plan to be carried throughout the year,” he added.

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