Waste burning, dust emission to be curbed in Delhi


Express News Service

NEW DELHI: There will be curbing fires at city landfills, waste burning, dust emission and sprinkling of water on key stretches across the city to combat the annual spike in winter pollution. 

Even as Delhi’s air quality has been ‘moderate’ so far owing to good winds, the Centre for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has recommended the implementation of pre-emptive measures listed under the ‘poor’ category of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) from October 15 to fight winter pollution. 

The recommendations were made at a meeting of the CAQM with the representatives of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) — the pollution watchdog that enforces GRAP in Delhi-NCR — on Tuesday. 

The winter pollution measures under the GRAP — a year round action plan to combat different levels of pollution in Delhi and NCR towns — are usually enforced from October 15 to March 31.

Every year since 2017, when GRAP came into force, the measures listed under the ‘severe’ and ‘very poor’ categories of air quality including ban on construction and diesel generator sets will come into force from October 15.

“Since the air quality has so far been in the moderate zone because of weather conditions being favourable and is likely to remain so over this week, the measures under ‘severe’ and ‘very poor’ categories will be implemented after a review of the pollution situation. So far, pre-emptive measures under the poor category have been recommended to be enforced from October 15. This is mainly because, as per inputs being received from weather forecasters, air quality may start dipping from October 20 onwards, when the minimum temperature is expected to drop,” said a senior Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) official, who didn’t wish to be named.

This year, he added, both the Winter Action Plan prepared by the Delhi government and GRAP, which is the regional plan, will be implemented in the national capital.

The three municipal corporations — South, East and North — are tasked with the mechanised sweeping of roads and sprinkling of water on major stretches. “We have already started the mechanised sweeping and patrolling of hotspots,” said a senior official of the South Corporation.

Measures under ‘poor’ category –GRAP

  • Stringently enforce/stop garbage burning in landfills and other places and impose heavy fines on person responsible

  • Stringently enforce rules for dust control in construction activities and close non-compliant sites

  • Stringently enforce all pollution control regulations in brick kilns and industries

  • Stringently enforce pollution control in thermal power plants through PCB monitoring

  • Periodic mechanised sweeping on roads with heavy traffic and water sprinkling on unpaved roads

  • Strict vigilance and no tolerance for visible emissions – stop plying of visibly polluting vehicles

  • Strict vigilance and enforcement of PUC norms

  • Strictly enforce Supreme Court ban on firecrackers

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