Delhi calls meet of stakeholders to curb rising pollution


In view of the rising pollution in the national capital, the Delhi government will hold a joint meeting on Tuesday with the departments concerned to take necessary steps to reduce pollution in the city, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Monday.

“The discussion will be held on what steps can be taken to help the people of Delhi breathe better and get relief from increased pollution as soon as possible,” Rai said inspecting the sprinkling of water on the road to control dust pollution near the Supreme Court this afternoon.

Delhi has been recording an Air Quality Index (AQI) under the “severe” category since Diwali night (November 4), which improved marginally to “very poor” this morning.

Yet again holding the practice of stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Delhi as the main source of pollution, Rai has also requested Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav to convene an emergency meeting so that the governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh take emergency measures to cut down on stubble burning.

“Currently, as we can see, the pollution levels are high. Scientists say that the principal reason behind this is stubble burning, which is not reducing. Yesterday (Sunday), we requested the Union Environment Minister to call an urgent meeting to urge the state governments of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh to take the necessary emergency measures and reduce the instances of stubble burning in their respective states,” he said.

Citing emergency steps taken, Rai said: “Taking emergency steps to control the increased pollution in Delhi after Diwali, the Delhi government is sprinkling water on the streets of Delhi by 114 tankers. These tankers were given the green light on Saturday near the Delhi Secretariat. Incidents of stubble burning increased in Punjab and Haryana on the day of Diwali and episodes of cracker burning, due to which the pollution levels in Delhi have increased. In order to curb this, huge smog guns have been installed at many places in Delhi and water is being sprayed on roads across Delhi by deploying tankers. Moreover, 92 construction sites have been sealed for violation of norms.”