April 1, 2023

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Newly-appointed commission identifies 10 urgent measures to curb air pollution

Newly-formed Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in NCR and adjoining areas has come up with 10 urgent measures to curb ai pollution.

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), recently formed to monitor and manage air quality of the national capital region and adjoining areas, has identified 10 urgent measures to curb air pollution in the NCR region.
The commission, which met on Monday, reviewed the air quality scenario in the region, actions taken by various agencies so far and further steps to be taken for improving the air quality.
The CAQM members noted that future action will necessitate consultation with various stakeholders. However, at this stage, the commission stressed the need to strictly enforce existing laws, rules, guidelines, directions and standard operating procedures to minimise air pollution on an emergency basis.
The commission also stressed that active public involvement is critical in the abatement of air pollution and identified the following major immediate measures:
1. Minimise use of personalised transport to the extent possible
2. Restrict travel unless absolutely essential
3. Encourage work from home
4. Strict enforcement of laws and rules regarding dust control measures including at construction sites
5. Strict enforcement to prevent burning of municipal solid waste and biomass
6. Intensify water sprinkling particularly in dust prone areas
7. Use of anti-smog guns at pollution hotspots especially at construction sites
8. Strict implementation of extant rules, courts and tribunal orders regarding stubble burning and use of firecrackers
9. Seek co-operation from civil society and public-spirited citizens to report air pollution incidents on the Sameer App
10. Encourage coal using industries in NCR to minimize the use of coal in the coming months.
Dr Ajay Mathur, head of TERI, one of the non-government members on the newly-formed commission on air pollution, said, “One of the key expectations of the commission is the ability of different states to come to an agreement to accept and implement the actions decided.”
“We are talking about air pollution and all five states together form Delhi’s air basin. Unless there’s an action taken upstream of the state, Delhi’s actions will not be enough,” he said.
Therefore, four states including Delhi are part of the commission on air pollution – Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh.
Delhi, along with Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Odisha and West Bengal, has recently decided to ban firecrackers. However, Dr Mathur, said long-term solutions are required to curb pollution.
“There could be some knee-jerk actions but, long-term solutions need to be put in place. The commission has been formed to put in place processes,” Dr Ajay Mathur said.
According to TERI chief, the real challenge is the proper implementation of the pollution measures, which this commission has been empowered to ensure.

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