OFFICE OF THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT & FOREST
GOVT. OF NCT OF DELHI
· Environment Minister reviews GRAP implementation in Delhi in present conditions
· Prevailing weather conditions in North India behind current air quality status
· Scientists inform that air quality improving due to wind speed
· Minister directs strict reduction in local factors adding to air pollution
· Minister seeks report from the concerned officers about the increasing of Air pollution though the incidents of open burning of Parali are decreasing
· Minister also asks concerned officers to ensure mechanical sweeping of roads including PWD roads by mechanical device and water sprinkling
· No construction material should be kept open and regular sprinkling of water at all construction sites must be done. Strict Action against the violators of norms should immediately be initiated by the respective authority- Minister directs
· Minister also directs the joint teams of officials from Revenue Department, concerned Municipal Corporations and Civil Defence Volunteers deputed in each of the Districts for monitoring construction activity and taking preventing and punitive action against the violators of Dust Control Norms may be continued for the time being.
New Delhi: 26/12/2018
Environment Minister, Shri Imran Hussain on Thursday convened a high level meeting to review the implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) mandated by Hon’ble 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.
Live air quality status analysis was presented to the minister, which is being released as an attachment with this detailed statement.
The meeting was attended by Secretary (Environment), Head of Departments/ senior officers of North, South & East MCDs, NDMC,Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Cantonment Board, Revenue Department,Environment& Forest Department,Public Works Department, Transport Department, Power Department, Industries Department, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), Fire Services,Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructural Development Corporation (DSIIDC), Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System (DIMTS), DTC,Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning &Engineering) Centre (UTTIPEC), Forest Department, PWD, Delhi Traffic Police and other stakeholder Departments.
The Minister expressed concern over the prevailing situation. He was informed that 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.
Present condition is also attributed to the very cold conditions prevailing in the region combined with foggy conditions. Mr Hussain was also informed that with the forecast of increase in wind speed, the AQI is likely to improve in coming days.
Secretary (Environment)/Chairman DPCC informed that the Air Quality Index of Delhi has shown improvement today i.e. 26.12.2018.
The Minister observed that though climatic and meteorological conditions are beyond human control, there is strong need for making sustained efforts in controlling the various sources of air pollution in Delhi.
These include preventing instances of burning in open; control of road and soil dust by regular sprinkling of water; proper management of construction and demolition waste by ensuring that building material is not only watered but is covered properly, buildings under construction and construction waste are covered with tarpaulin etc.; monitoring and controlling emissions from industrial units and vehicles; diversion of non-destined vehicles through Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways; promoting and encouraging more use of public transport; control and management of traffic especially at air pollution hot spots and congested roads/inter-sections etc.
As per GRAP, the air quality is ‘moderate’ when ambient PM2.5or PM10 concentration value is between 61-120 µg/m3or 101-350µg/m3respectively. The air quality is termed as ‘very poor’ when ambient PM2.5 or PM10 concentration value is more than 121-250µg/m3or 351-430µg/m3respectively. The air quality is termed as ‘very poor’ when ambient PM2.5 or PM10 concentration value is more than 250µg/m3or 430µg/m3respectively. The air quality is termed as ‘severe plus’ or ‘emergency’ when ambient PM2.5 or PM10 concentration valuesof 300 µg/m3or 500µg/m3respectively persist for 48 hours or more.
GRAP also prescribes the roles and functions of implementing agencies for taking warranted action for controlling air pollution.
DPCC informed that actions are being taken by the agencies concerned includingincreased 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 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.
Shri Hussain stressed that there is need to control local air polluting factors such as burning, dust etc. He directed that senior officers of Municipal Corporations will monitor mechanical sweeping of roads including PWD roads for preventing suspension and re-suspension of dust due to plying of vehicles.
The Minister directed the Municipal Corporations to increase enforcement of compliance of directions regarding prohibition of permittinguncovered building material on their respective roads/spaces.They were also directed to ensure that during the period(s) of ban on construction, no one indulges in such activities and that violatorsare strictly dealt with as per law. Further, for effective control of dust, conditions stipulated in sanctioned building plan for construction of building must bestrictly followed by the owners and builders.
Shri Hussain again stressed that no construction material should be kept open and regular sprinkling of water at all construction sites must be done. Strict Action against the violators of norms should immediately be initiated by the respective authority.
The Minister directed that joint teams of officials from Revenue Department, concerned Municipal Corporations and Civil Defence Volunteers deputed in each of the Districts for monitoring construction activity and taking preventing and punitive action against the violators of Dust Control Norms may be continued for the time being.
Transport Department was directed to continue enforcement action with more vigour in the coming weeks also.
Mr Hussain once again directed all three MCDs to ensure control of instances of burning in open and compliance of dust control measures, failing which senior officers should be held accountable.
The Minister directed Commissioners of MCDs/ PWD and Delhi Fire Services for undertaking water sprinkling from high rise buildings especially for settling the suspended dust particles.
He directed 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.
There is a need to find long lasting solution to this problem.
Shri Hussain also urged the citizens of Delhi to minimize use of private vehicles and use public transport during this period.