New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS) The Centre has deputed 50 Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) teams to monitor stubble burning and help in implementing measures to combat pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar made the announcement after an over one-and-a-half hour meeting on the issue with five states — Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Uttar Pradesh’s Dara Singh Chauhan, Rajasthan’s Sukhram Bishnoi, Haryana’s Kanwar Pal and Delhi’s Gopal Rai — four ministers — and Punjab’s Environment Secretary were present in the meeting. Besides, Environment Secretaries of other states as well as officials of the pollution department also took part in the meeting. The Central government’s Agriculture Secretary was also present in the meeting.
Javadekar said that all the 50 CPCB teams will work with full enthusiasm and all the five states will be contacted regularly to take the review. Javadekar said that Pollution Control Board will be very active during the period and work in coordination with all these states. Ahead of November, when pollution peaks, the Central government has swung into action to tackle the national capital region’s contaminated air and plans to strengthen and empower the CPCB.
Informing of the Centre’s plan to combat pollution, Javadekar said our policy is to maintain an environment in which all states compete with each other to control pollution which affects lungs and it is dangerous amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This was the seventh meeting on pollution this year so far. Six other meetings have taken place earlier. One was chaired by Cabinet Secretary, other by Principal Secretary, two by CPCB and two by Environment Secretary.
“Good days of air increased to 182 in 2019 compared 108 in 2016 while the bad days decreased to 183 last year compared to 282 in 2016,” the Union minister said while mentioning efforts of the state and Central governments to mitigate pollution. “This all happened because hotspots were prepared to observe and focus to solve the increasing pollution issue. There are many other reasons behind pollution in NCR (National Capital Reason) that include construction, dust, garbage management and impure roads,” Javadekar said.
He said that the Central government has given machines for stubble disposal. He said that Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) — a Central government institute — has also completed a research on decomposer with the help of Pusa Institute here.
Trial of this decomposer will be done in every state for better results next year. The Central government is also playing a role in use of Bio CNG and Bio power, he said, adding a total of 60,000 vehicles do not enter Delhi due to peripheral expressways. Many works have been done by the Centre and states and the result is that good days of air have increased and bad days of air have decreased, he said.
The minister, however, said it was decided in the meeting to focus on the issue more than what was done earlier. Every state shared their action plan and they were also advised by the Centre. Delhi government was advised to focus on 13 hotspots, including Mayapuri, Bawana, Narela, Mundka, Punjabi Bagh, Dwarka, Rohini, Vivek Vihar, Anand Vihar, R.K. Puram and Jahagirpuri.
Haryana was also advised to adopt activities to control pollution in Panipat, Sonipat, Gurugram, Faraidabad and Jhajjar. Measures to control pollution in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Muzaffar Nagar and Meerut were also discussed. Rajasthan’s Bhiwadi was also under discussion.
Informing that whole discussion was very positive, the minister appealed to people to help in decreasing pollution and adopt various means to curb the problem like use of bicycles for nearby work, walking, maintaining vehicles and avoiding congested lanes.
The minister said that Indian government has given machines worth around Rs 1,700 crore to three states in the last three years. “If any individual buys the machine, he is provided 50 per cent subsidy while there is a provision of 80 per cent subsidy also. If that machine is used, we will be free from stubble burning problems.”