Air pollution: New EPCA plan to cut PM2.5 levels in Delhi by 70%
A new comprehensive plan to bring down air pollution in the Capital will aim to bring down the annual average of PM2.5 down by 70% to meet the clean air standard.
The plan, which is being drafted by the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority along with Central Pollution Control Board and Delhi Pollution Control Committee, is slated to be submitted to the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
“The three-year annual average, for 2014, 2015 and 2016, of ultrafine PM2.5 in Delhi is 132 microgramme per cubic metre. This needs to be reduced by about 70% to meet annual standard of 40. This comprehensive plan will work towards that,” Anumita Roy Chowdhury, head of CSE’s clean air campaign, who was present at the EPCA meeting on Monday, told HT.
The plan, which will address all sources of air pollution, will take more stringent actions against combustion sources like vehicles, industry, power plant and waste burning.
“These combustion sources are more toxic in nature. However, each and every source of pollution in Delhi will be addressed in the plan with short, medium and long term measures. Appropriate action will also be taken against dust sources,” she said.
This new anti-pollution plan to combat Delhi’s foul air is based on a 2012 blueprint prepared by the Sheila Dikshit government along with facets of the 42-point action plan of the Union environment ministry and EPCA’s own action plan.
“The February 2012 plan of the Delhi government included features like increasing the city’s bus fleet to 15,000, setting up of 14 bus rapid transit (BRT) corridors by 2016, introducing variable time-based parking rates, increase road tax on private vehicles and ensure an early roll out of Euro VI emission standards, among others,” a government official said.
It had even reached the Cabinet level but did not proceed further due to political turn of events which saw Dikshit losing after being in power for 15 years and Aam Aadmi Party forming the Delhi government in December, 2013.