Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain on Thursday said that the government will look into a comprehensive regional plan to curb pollution for Delhi-NCR as the city residents witnessed a fourth consecutive day since Diwali with a “severe” level of air pollution.
A ministerial task force on air pollution, headed by Jain, on Thursday reviewed the air quality situation in Delhi. It also appealed to the central government to take all possible steps to immediately stop crop residue burning in the neighbouring states.
“Scientists in the meeting advised the government to stress upon a unified action plan for the entire NCR, for its anti-pollution efforts to succeed. It will be looked into,” Jain told reporters after the review meeting.
“Crop burning is the majour contributing factor in the pollution. We will urge the central government to take effective steps to ensure an immediate end to crop residue burning in neighbouring states,” he added.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had last month appointed an inter-ministerial task force headed by Jain to tackle issues of pollution and garbage disposal in the capital city.
Scientists from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) said at the meeting that the current trend shows air pollution peaks during night hours, and is showing a trend of easing during day time.
According to the scientists, current meteorological conditions pre and post Diwali so far have not been helpful and have therefore not contributed to improve the air quality, which however is expected to see a positive trend in the coming days.
Jain clarified that there was no point of closing the schools temporarily as the scientific data shows peak of pollution during nights and not during school hours.
“We will request the centre to enforce relevant laws to regulate large-scale construction in NCR, the dust from where is polluting Delhi air. CPCB has been requested to crack down on polluting industrial units in NCR,” Jain said.
In its last meeting, the task force had decisded to install air purification systems at five major intersections of the city within two months as a pilot project.
The government had said a mist fountain will also be installed at one major intersection to purify the air.