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Environment marshals flag around 10,000 norms violations in Delhi since January

Environment marshals’, who were initially termed as ‘toothless’, have flagged around 10,000 violations since January this year, helping authorities take action against violators and curb air pollution in the national capital

delhi Updated: Sep 27, 2018 02:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Environment marshals,Delhi,Air pollution
Dust from construction waste on NH-24 near Akshardham Tample in New Delhi. in New Delhi.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

‘Environment marshals’, who were initially termed as ‘toothless’, have flagged around 10,000 violations since January this year, helping authorities take action against violators and curb air pollution in the national capital.

“The marshals have detected at least 9,845 violations since January this year. The Delhi Pollution Control Committee had deployed environment marshals in wards of the three civic agencies,” said Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain, who held a meeting on Wednesday to take stock of the measures being taken to curb pollution levels during the winter.

Initially, 14 home guard volunteers were deployed as marshals in seven municipal wards of the three municipal corporations — South Delhi Municipal Corporation, East Delhi Municipal Corporation and New Delhi Municipal Council. Later, their numbers were increased to 83. These marshals were deployed to act as a deterrent and to flag violations. On the basis of their reports, the civic agencies issued fines against offenders.

“Most of the cases that were detected were those of open garbage burning and violations at construction sites,” said a senior official of the environment department.

A series of directions, including sprinkling water at construction sites, increased mechanised sweeping of roads and diverting vehicles not destined for Delhi, among others, were issued. The civic agencies have been directed to impose penalties if violations are found at construction sites.

The municipal bodies were also asked to explore the feasibility of water sprinkling in inner lanes of the residential neighbourhoods before sweeping.

“The minister directed all the agencies and departments to intensify their actions as per the various categories of graded response action plan (GRAP) and ensure preparedness to deal with winter season episodic air pollution in Delhi,” said a statement issued by the government.

Measures to combat ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ categories of air pollution in the GRAP are expected to be rolled out on October 15. On September 13, Hussain wrote to the environment ministers of UP, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan to take measures against stubble burning.

First Published: Sep 27, 2018 02:34 IST