New Delhi: With the aim to take strict measures to control air pollution during the winter months in Delhi, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has identified 13 hotspots and placed special focus on control of pollution from transport, road and construction dust and bursting of firecrackers during the festive season. The CAQM held a review meeting on September 26 with Delhi Chief Secretary, NDMC Chairperson, Environment Principal Secretary, MCD Commissioner , Transport Commissioner and other senior officers of the government of NCT of Delhi, including DPCC.
The 13 hotspots identified by the Delhi government include Anand Vihar, Mundka, Wazirpur, Jahangirpuri, RK Puram, Rohini, Punjabi Bagh, Okhla, Bawana, Vivek Vihar, Narela, Ashok Vihar and Dwarka for control of pollution from hotspots. “Inventorisation of major air pollution sources from hotspots has been completed for focused preventive actions. It was advised to deploy Nodal Officers specifically to address air pollution from hotspots, as per the plan of action,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Wednesday.
The need to strictly enforce the government/court orders on the storage, sale and use of fire crackers was highlighted during the review meeting to control pollution from episodic events in view of the fact that many festivals this year coincide with the peak paddy harvesting season in northern India.
It was assured at the meeting that various implementing agencies will regularly review air pollution control measures by taking strict and effective action across various sectors as well as enforcement of actionable steps listed under the revised Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
The CAQM has already published a revised GRAP in July this year, extensively capturing the preventive and restrictive actions to be taken across various air pollution-causing sectors depending upon the difference stages of adverse air quality in Delhi.
The GRAP envisages 27 actions under Stage-I, 11 under Stage-II, eight under Stage-III and eight under Stage-IV. They inter-alia include intensifying mechanised sweeping, use of anti-smog guns, water sprinklings, enforcement of PUC norms for vehicles, control and regulated use of DG sets, ensuring uninterrupted power supply by DISCOMs, restrictions on the plying of end-of-life vehicles and BS III and BS IV petrol and diesel vehicles etc.
The GNCT of Delhi has 7,041 buses — 4,088 DTC buses and 2,953 cluster buses, including 456 e-buses and 94 mini electric buses. There is plan to augment public transport by adding 850 buses by September and 650 buses by March 2024. As on September 23, 943 PUC certification stations are operational in Delhi and 33.56 lakh PUC certificates have been issued in NCT of Delhi.
Delhi has more than 2.38 lakh EVs registered in Delhi till September 22. The capital currently has 3,100 charging stations, 4,793 charging points and 318 swapping stations and the target is to set up 18,000 public and 30,000 private or semi-public charging stations by 2025.
As part of dust control measures, Delhi has 83 Mechanical Road Sweeping (MRS) machines for mechanised sweeping. The average road length mechanically swept per day is about 2,700 km. About 125 metric tonnes of road dust is being collected and disposed of per day. 320 water sprinklers are also being deployed in Delhi covering an average of 2,600 km of road per day.
Presently, 389 Anti-Smog Guns (ASG) are under deployment to control dust in and around buildings, roads and open areas besides ASGs installed at C & D sites. Delhi has identified more than 90 high rise buildings for deployment of ASGs, against which ASGs have been installed in 47 government and 43 private high-rise buildings. It was informed in the meeting that government departments, including MCD, DCB, DDA, NDMC, PWD, NHAI, NBCC, CPWD etc, have been directed to identify more high-rise buildings for the installation of ASGs.