The Delhi government, which is in the process of seeking feedback on reintroducing the odd-even scheme, is also considering commissioning a third-party audit of its industrial areas to check pollution.
Government sources said this is the first time that the government is considering to outsource such an audit to zero in on factors contributing to industrial pollution.
According to sources, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) — that has an enforcement staff of less than 60, including trainee engineers — has limited manpower. Hence, roping in an agency with technical expertise and surveying skills is being discussed. If new staff is hired, it will be a permanent liability for the government as it will have to pay them salaries, said an official. Institutes like IITs or other research organisations may be considered for the audit, sources told The Indian Express.
“There are common effluent treatment plants in all industrial areas. But it is hard to tell which of the sources is discharging effluents and causing most of the pollution. That is what the agency carrying out the audit will be required to zero in on, so that action may be taken to curb the flow of excessive effluents at the source,” said an official. The challenge, he said, will be to ensure that the industrial units operate and discharge effluents as per laid down standards.
Sources said, the need for such an audit was felt as industries not only discharge effluents into water but use furnaces and diesel generator sets that contribute to air and noise pollution. “Industries running through residential premises, for example, may cause noise pollution that residents often complain about. These units will have to be checked,” said an official.
While the areas that need to be audited will be identified by the government, the agency will audit them for pollution.
There are 29 industrial areas in Delhi divided into the north, south, east and west zones.