Admitting that the enforcement of rules for tackling air pollution was “weak”, the Environment Ministry Friday asked states to “strictly” implement a host of measures, including checking spread of fly ash from Delhi’s Badarpur plant and shutting down of old brick kilns. Faced with “severe” air pollution problem in Delhi, Union Environment Secretary A N Jha Friday held a review meeting with secretaries of NCR states.
Jha said crop burning has been controlled in almost all states except Punjab where large scale burning has been reported and during the meeting Punjab has assured that it will make efforts to check it. “Last year in December Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had instructed states on 42 points (to tackle air pollution). There were short, medium and long term measures. After issuing these orders, five or six meetings have already been held at the ministerial as well as CPCB level. Many steps have been taken.
“There are many areas where much more needs to be done. Special focus needs to be given on enforcement of these orders. Because enforcement mechanism is still weak, states have been asked to make enforcement stricter and take whatever steps which needs to be taken,” Jha told reporters.
Jha said various issues related to air pollution, including crop burning, dust pollution, pollution from landfill sites, building construction, vehicular pollution, industrial pollution were discussed during the meeting. “Delhi government has been asked to regulate and check the fly ash which is coming out of the Badarpur plant. We will also issue orders to NTPC so that while transportation whatever fly ash is going into the atmosphere, it stops.”
“Delhi government has also assured us that it will immediately come out with an plan of action to utilise the money available with it from the collection of environmental tax and one per cent cess for steps to improve the environment,” Jha said.