All air pollution hotspots in NCR districts to be converted to green spots: CM Khattar - Hindustan Times
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All air pollution hotspots in NCR districts to be converted to green spots: CM Khattar

BySuparna Roy
Mar 07, 2022 11:51 PM IST

Gurugram: Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said Monday that all air pollution hotspots in the national capital region (NCR) districts of Haryana will be converted to “green spots” to fight air pollution

Gurugram: Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said Monday that all air pollution hotspots in the national capital region (NCR) districts of Haryana will be converted to “green spots” to fight air pollution. In Gurugram, the state pollution control board has identified 18 areas as hotspots for vehicular air emission and traffic congestion.

Gurugram, India - Feb. 26, 2021: Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar addresses the gathering during Urban Development Conclave concluding session, at Hotel Leela, in Gurugram, India, on Saturday, February 26, 2021. (Photo by Vipin Kumar / Hindustan Times) (Vipin Kumar /HT PHOTO)
Gurugram, India - Feb. 26, 2021: Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar addresses the gathering during Urban Development Conclave concluding session, at Hotel Leela, in Gurugram, India, on Saturday, February 26, 2021. (Photo by Vipin Kumar / Hindustan Times) (Vipin Kumar /HT PHOTO)

“After Delhi, these are the most polluted areas. We have taken several initiatives to monitor air quality in the NCR districts, one of which is installing 21 of the state’s 29 Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations here. We are also working to reduce crop burning incidents in Haryana. We have identified pollution hotspots in all these districts, and plan to convert them into green spots,” said Khattar.

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The chief minister made the announcement while speaking at the inaugural session of the two-day Dialogue Towards Clean Air initiative organised in Gurugram by the Commission for Air Quality Management and Union environment ministry. The event was inaugurated by Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav.

Khattar said that some of the measures the government plans to take to convert air pollution hotspots into “green spots” are plantation, road topping, regulation of industrial emissions, control of vehicular pollution, and management of construction and demolition waste and solid waste.

According to government officials, of the 22 districts in Haryana, 14--more than 60% of the state--are situated in the NCR.

The chief minister also said the government has already put out a policy mandating the installation of online emission monitoring devices in all red category industries in the NCR districts to control industrial pollution. These devices are connected to the servers of the Central Pollution Control Board and Haryana State Pollution Control Board where officials track emission data every day.

Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav said to address the issue of pollution in the NCR, authorities must focus on city-specific plans.

“The Aravalli range protects the NCR and there is a need to work towards protecting its ecosystem. We also have to work towards dust management by promoting plantation while making micro action plans. We have to increase green areas in schools and urban areas,” said Yadav.

Avikal Somvanshi, programme manager for sustainable cities, Centre for Science and Environment, said, “Plantation activities to increase greenery in urban spaces, or dust control measures, can definitely help reduce PM10 levels, but what we are dealing with is finer particles like PM2.5, and other pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide. These come from combustion and vehicular emissions, and are critical because they cause the most damage to health. To control this, there needs to be a concrete plan to control emissions from combustion sources and increase public transport. Bringing down PM10 levels is good, but to benefit public health, PM2.5 levels need to controlled.”

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