Delhi minister claims several officials skipped meet on pollution in capital | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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'Appoint sensitive officers': In letter to Kejriwal, Delhi minister claims several officials skipped meet on pollution

Oct 23, 2023 08:46 PM IST

Delhi recorded the world's most toxic air on Monday morning as AQI reached 346.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday alleged that several department heads of the government skipped a meeting to review pollution mitigation measures in the national capital.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai at a construction site in New Delhi on October 9.(Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai at a construction site in New Delhi on October 9.(Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)

In a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Rai requested the appointment of officers “who are sensitive” to the issue of air pollution.

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The environment minister also urged Kejriwal to convene a meeting as soon as possible of the National Capital Civil Service Authority (NCCSA) to address the issue.

The NCCSA takes a call on service matters, including transfers, postings and disciplinary action, according to PTI.

Rail also told Kejriwal that several senior officials appeared to be unaware of the deteriorating air quality in Delhi and the measures their departments are taking to combat pollution.

Also Read | Delhi pollution: As air quality worsens, AAP govt orders using dust suppressants

“AK Singh, Principal Secretary of the Environment Department; Ashwani Kumar, DPCC Chairman and Principal Secretary of the Revenue Department; and Ashish Kundra, Transport Commissioner, did not attend the important meeting today,” Rai told the chief minister. "Their absence makes it extremely difficult to make any significant decisions and ensure their implementation."

He added: "Therefore, I request that, in order to effectively address the serious pollution situation, a meeting of the National Capital Civil Service Authority should be convened as soon as possible, and officers who are sensitive to the issue of pollution and can actively work to reduce pollution should be appointed."

Delhi recorded the world's most toxic air on Monday morning. The national capital's air quality index rose to as high as 346 early on Monday, the highest among 110 global cities tracked by IQ Air.

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The national capital's air quality index rose to as high as 346 early on Monday, the highest among 110 global cities tracked by IQ Air.

At around 7 pm, the overall air quality in Delhi deteriorated to 'Very Poor' with the latest AQI (overall) being 303.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered "good", 51-100 "satisfactory", 101-200 "moderate", 201-300 "poor", 301-400 "very poor" and 401-500 "severe". An AQI above 500 falls in the "severe plus" category.

The dip in air quality comes amid the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM)'s sub-committee invoking the 11-point action plan as per Stage II of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The Delhi government implements GRAP in a phased manner, involving steps like ban on construction activities, closing educational institutions which is dependant on the gravity of the situation.

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