The Delhi pollution control committee will have to commission a study of illegal and small industrial units operating in Delhi.
This directive was passed on Friday by the Environment Pollution Control and Prevention Authority (EPCA) while discussing the graded action plan with senior officials from the ministry of environment and forests, Central Pollution Control Board, all the respective state pollution control boards, and the Met department.
“We have to keep better control of these industries. Many industrial units have moved to unauthorised colonies of which the Delhi Pollution Control Committee does not even have a list. Please commission a study, using money collected under the air ambience fund, by a third party to enumerate and list such industries,” Centre for Science and Environment’s (CSE) Sunita Narain, who is also an EPCA member, said.
The air ambience fund was set up in 2008. For every litre of diesel sold in Delhi, the fund receives 25 paise.
According to a 2013 report by Delhi-based NGO Toxics Link, there are more than 1 lakh industrial units operating in unauthorised, non-conforming zones located in residential areas, out of a total of 1.30 lakh industrial units in Delhi.
During the meeting on Friday, the EPCA ordered an “intense drive” against polluting vehicles over the next 15 days.
“The Delhi government has been asked to procure more smoke detectors to challan visibly polluting vehicles. It should also begin vacuum cleaning of roads on a larger scale,” Narain said.
The EPCA made it clear that weddings should not be exempted when it comes to the ban on diesel gensets. The Delhi government has been asked to come out with a list of the exemptions.
“The fly ash at the Badarpur plant should be transported starting February 1 in special flyash containers. Brick kilns that have not adopted the advanced zig-zag technology, which helps reduce black carbon emission, will have to be shut across the region during the winter months,” Narain told the Delhi government officials.
Delhi environment secretary Chandraker Bharti, who was present at the meeting, proposed that non-destined trucks should be stopped at the NCR border instead of Delhi border as is being done presently.
He informed that the Badarpur thermal power plant will remain shut even after the January 31 deadline if there is no “power crisis in the city”.