Paving roads must to cut air pollution in NCR: Parl panel

ByJayashree Nandi
Dec 02, 2021 02:24 AM IST

The committee, headed by Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, tabled its report on ‘Air Pollution in Delhi and NCR,’ in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Efforts to mitigate pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR) will not yield desired results without paving unpaved streets, a parliamentary standing committee chaired by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has flagged.

Representative Image
Representative Image

In a report on ‘Air Pollution in Delhi and NCR,’ tabled in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, the parliamentary standing committee on science and technology, environment, forests and climate change noted that the Union environment ministry should focus on paving unpaved roads, monitoring and furnishing actions by all NCR states on paving roads and also furnish a response from the civil aviation ministry on sharing funds to control air pollution in the region.

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The committee recommended to the Centre that the railways and civil aviation ministries could help fund air pollution control in the region, to which the environment ministry responded that: “Since Indian Railway is already taking a number of steps toward sustainable development, it may not be feasible for it to spare funds for the above subject.”

“The recommendations/observations of the Committee seem to have not been given due importance and weightage. This casual and insincere attitude of the ministry is totally unwarranted and uncalled for. The committee, therefore, desires that the ministry furnish a consolidated reply to recommendations or observations,” on the issue of unpaved roads and generating funds from civil aviation and railways, the report said.

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The committee also flagged the allegedly weak enforcement of a statutory ban on stubble burning by state governments (Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh) “coupled with laxity towards the sensitivity and gravity of the matter has also adversely affected the ongoing efforts to tackle the issue of air pollution in Delhi and NCR.”

The Committee also recommended a scientific study to assess the environmental impact of crop burning on Delhi and NCR and the methodology to mitigate it in a time-bound manner, the report said. In response to this, MoEFCC has submitted that a study has been awarded to National Environmental Engineering Research Institute to monitor the impact of farm fires

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