Delhi Asked to Take 10 Measures to Control Air Pollution

Children of RMN Foundation free school participate in a pollution-control campaign in Delhi. Photo: Rakesh Raman / RMN News Service
Children of RMN Foundation free school participate in a pollution-control campaign in Delhi. Photo: Rakesh Raman / RMN News Service

The members of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) have reviewed the air quality situation in Delhi’s National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining areas.

The Commission stressed the need to strictly enforce existing laws, rules, guidelines, directions and standard operating procedures to minimize air pollution on an emergency basis.

The Commission also felt that active public involvement is critical in the abatement of air pollution and identified the following major immediate measures:

1. Minimize use of personalized transport to the extent possible

2. Restrict travel unless absolutely essential

3. Encourage work from home

4. Strict enforcement of laws and rules regarding dust control measures including at construction sites

5. Strict enforcement to prevent burning of municipal solid waste and biomass

6. Intensify water sprinkling particularly in dust prone areas

7. Use of anti-smog guns at pollution hotspots specially at construction sites

8. Strict implementation of extant rules, Courts and Tribunal orders regarding stubble burning and use of fire crackers

9. Seek cooperation from civil society and citizens to report air pollution incidents on the Sameer App

10. Encourage coal using industries in NCR to minimize the use of coal in the coming months

The Commission noted that future action will necessitate consultation with various stakeholders. The Indian government has notified the formation of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) for NCR days after it issued an ordinance on October 29.

The new agency will have sweeping powers to monitor and act against sources of air pollution across 5 north Indian states. The ordinance empowers the Commission to make rules, set emission standards, and slap fines of up to Rs. 1 crore or imprison violators for up to 5 years.

In a notification issued on November 5, the government said former Delhi chief secretary M. M. Kutty will be the Commission’s first chairperson. Kutty is also a former secretary of the ministry of petroleum and natural gas.

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Rakesh Raman