Anti-open burning next on Delhi govt’s agenda to tackle air pollution

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To curb air pollution emitting from open fires in the national capital, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday announced to launch an anti-open burning campaign under which 550 teams from various departments will be deployed in the city to keep a check on burning in open spaces.

“Today we held a joint meeting with various departments wherein we took five decisions to strengthen our fight against pollution. The major sources of pollution in Delhi are dust particulate matter, vehicle emission, garbage burning in the open and stubble burning. We are unable to control stubble burning in the neighbouring states, but we can control the pollution emitting from open fires in our state for which we have decided to launch an anti-open burning campaign.

” A total of 550 teams have been set up to monitor open burning incidents in the capital. Of these, 304 will be deployed in the morning and 246 will be on Delhi roads in the evening,” Rai said after the joint meeting with the concerned departments.

Ten departments, including DPCC, MCD, DDMC, DDA, DCB, Development, Revenue and Irrigation & Flood Department, will run this campaign.

The minister also urged people to register complaints regarding open fires on the Green Delhi App.

“Delhi’s air quality has improved marginally in the past few days. In view of this, five measures have been taken under the Graded Action Response Plan (GRAP) to ensure an improved air quality under which a ban will be put on diesel generators in the capital. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the police will submit their action plan on this by Wednesday.

“Secondly, the MCD has been directed under the response plan to hike parking fees and ban coal ‘bhattis’. Similarly, the DMRC and the transport department have been directed to increase the frequency of Metro and DTC buses. The SDMs have been directed to ask the RWAs to provide heaters to the security guards in their society to avoid bonfires,” Rai said.

“After the completion of the first phase of anti-dust pollution from October 7 to 29 to curb pollution arising from construction and demolition activities, the Delhi government will now launch the second phase of the campaign from November 12 to December 12.

“Under the second phase, all the concerned departments have been asked to form an anti-dust cell, which will be coordinated by the DPCC as a joint action plan,” he added.

The first phase of the anti-dust campaign was run by 17 teams of DPCC engineers and 14 teams of Green Marshals.

“On an emergency basis, 400 water tanks will be deployed across the national capital to reduce the pollution level at least by a bit. As for stubble burning, Pusa made bio-decomposer has been sprinkled in around 2,300 acres of land in Delhi. We will increase the man force and by November 20 and this figure will increase to 4,000 acres of land,” Rai added.

–IANS

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