State environment ministers to meet on Oct 1 to review air pollution management plan
Environment ministers of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh will meet on October 1 to review the progress on air pollution management plans which were decided on in 2016, Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday.
State pollution control boards, municipal corporations and various urban bodies, like Delhi Development Authority and New Delhi Municipal Council, will also attend the virtual meeting. “We came up with short term, medium term and long-term plans in 2016. We plan to review implementation of those plans and assess preparedness for this winter,” Javadekar said.
He added that two meetings with northwestern states were also held in the past month—one headed by the cabinet secretary; another headed by principal secretary to the prime minister. Javadekar said that the Centre had accepted the air pollution problem and brought out policies to deal with it in the past four years. “The PM brought out the national air quality index (NAQI) so that people can easily understand pollution levels. Badarpur power plant was shut down, the Sonepat thermal power plant was also phased out, we built the peripheral expressway which was pending for 15 years. The expressway ensured that 60,000 trucks which passed through Delhi polluting it to reach other states could bypass Delhi; BS VI emission standards have been introduced and BS VI fuel is also available. We introduced waste management rules 2016 which includes rules for construction and demolition waste, 3000 industries in the national capital region (NCR) have got piped gas supply. So we are working on all fronts,” said Javadekar, adding that Indian Council for Agricultural Research will conduct various trials this year to curb crop stubble burning.
HT had reported on Monday that the harvest season has already begun in many parts of northwest India even as most farmer groups are agitating against the farm bills, farmer leaders said farm fires may continue this year too in the absence of adequate monetary support to small farmers to use straw management machinery.