CPCB says Delhi’s local pollution sources should be tackled, Javadekar seeks action

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The Central Pollution Control Board on Friday said that open dumping of garbage, construction-demolition activity, unpaved roads, and re-suspension of road dust are the major local sources contributing to Delhi’s air pollution at a time when the contribution of stubble burning to the crisis has plummeted to merely one per cent.

This holds importance the air quality index of the national capital remains in higher end of the ‘very poor’ category, at 380 microgrammes per cubic metre, even in the absence of stubble burning. This is due to emission from the local sources, along with unfavourable meteorological conditions.

In a letter to the Pollution Control Board, Traffic Police, Municipal Corporations, Transport Departments of Delhi and its adjoining states, Dr. P. K. Gupta, Divisional Head of CPCB Air Quality Management (AQM), stressed on the need to effectively deal with the local sources of pollution with the incidences of stubble burning coming to an end.

“Based on feedback received from the 50 teams deployed in the field since 15.10.2020, the major sources are open dumping of garbage, construction demolition activity, unpaved roads and pits, and re-suspension of road dust,” the letter said.

The areas of concern or hotspots are Narela, Anand Vihar, Mundka, Dwarka and Punjabi Bagh in Delhi and Faridabad, Jhajjar, Noida, and Bhiwadi in the National Capital Region.

“As per the analysis and complaints received, the south, south-west district, north, north-west, and north east districts of Delhi and Jhajjar, Bhiwadi, Gurugram North, Gautam Buddha Nagar, and Noida in NCR are the areas that need to take actions to control air pollution due to construction-demolition activity, open dumping of garbage, road dust, and industrial emissions,” Gupta stated.

“I am directed to request you to ensure that agencies take further necessary action for controlling emissions from local sources. Agencies must also address complaints made on SAMEER and all social media platforms on priority.”

Earlier on Friday, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar also asked the Delhi government to take swift action on the complaints forwarded to it by the CPCB.

Javadekar told the media that the pollution situation in Delhi is very alarming. Straw burning has stopped but the situation in the national capital is very critical.

To check the rising pollution levels across Delhi-National Capital Region, Javadekar had, in October, flagged off 50 teams of the CPCB for conducting field visits to the various hotspots to ensure checks on pollution. The field trips started on October 15 and will continue till February 28, 2021.

The waste that is being burnt in the open in the national capital is not disposed off properly. The norms related to construction work are not being followed. There is a problem of dust due to lack of road infrastructure at many places in Delhi, the CPCB has told the Delhi government.

“Now the Delhi government should take action on the notice. Burning of straw ranges from 60 to 62 days but rest of the days the menace of pollution has to be dealt by the NCR.”

The CPCB’s 50 teams monitor pollution across Delhi and NCR.

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