The Centre on Monday joined the long battle for improving the Capital’s notoriously bad air quality by getting Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to commit to a three-month action plan to curb pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Four States, One Initiative
All four states agreed to take time-bound steps to address the problem and come out with a joint medium and long-term strategy in July.
Under the plan, civic agencies in Delhi and three neighbouring states will enforce the ban on burning of waste, act against polluting vehicles, set up automatic identification of overloaded vehicles at borders, phase out coal-based units and adhere to upcoming norms on handling of construction waste. Haryana government would stop registration of non-BS IV vehicles in 11 NCR districts while Rajasthan promised to monitor the quality of fuel being used in industrial units in Bhiwadi. Delhi proposed to launch an “online monitoring system to map air polluting activities” in the city.
Joint meeting of Environment ministers
These and other decisions were taken during a joint meeting of environment ministers and officials of Delhi and the three states under Union environment and forests minister Prakash Javadekar. The states will meet again in July and review the implementation of the action plan.
“Thereafter, they will come out with a joint medium-term and long-term plan to curb air pollution in the entire NCR,” the minister said.
Javadekar said his ministry was working on formulating a comprehensive policy to deal with construction waste and dust. “We’ll come out with the policy and related implementing rules within 10 days.All states had agreed to implement it”, said Javadekar, flanked by environment ministers of Delhi, Asim Ahmed Khan, and Haryana, Captain Abhimanyu, at a press conference. The minister said a separate meeting of officials would be held in view of the recent NGT order against polluting vehicles. The government was committed to taking all possible action to clean up the air in Delhi and its surroundings, he said.
Badarpur Thermal plant to reduce emission load
Referring to other decisions taken in the meeting, Javadekar said the National Thermal Power Corporation had decided to retro-fit units IV and V of the Badarpur thermal power plant to reduce emission load.
“Besides, NTPC has also decided to phase out the older units I, II and III in a timebound manner,” the minister said.
Noida to get Air Quality Monitoring stations
Among other measures, UP agreed to set up air quality monitoring stations in Noida and launched by the Delhi government to check non-destined vehicles. This system will keep a record of all vehicles entering Delhi,” said Javadekar.
Representatives from Delhi’s municipal corporations, Delhi traffic police and NTPC also attended the meeting.Helpline to check waste burning After Delhi government’s recent direction to officials to crack down on open burning of garbage, plastics and leaves, Del Ghaziabad while the New Delhi Municipal Corporation announced that it would build Asia’s first plasma gasification plant to convert polluting waste material to gas.
Delhi government also promised to inspect all centres that issue Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates to vehicles and monitor them for strict compliance of rules and regulations.