The heated debate on addressing Delhi’s air pollution problem has got the Ministry of Environment and Forests and state agencies of NCR — including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan — cracking on the matter.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Monday, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said a three-month deadline has been set to adopt a slew of measures — from banning polluting vehicles from entering the Capital to adopting a waste-to-energy conversion system — before July 2, when all Ministries concerned will get together again to assess and chalk out a mid-term strategy.
“A first in Asia, we will be establishing a Singapore-based plasma gasification system in the NDMC area which can convert waste, including green waste, into gas, and if implemented, can power the whole city. Delhi will not have to buy power from elsewhere if this scheme becomes successful,” Mr. Javadekar said.
“Turning coal fired plants in the NCR into gas plants is a key goal of the action plan,” the Minister said. In Badarpur, four to five National Thermal Power Corporation coal plants will be retrofitted with the coal-to-gas conversion facility, which will reduce pollution drastically.
Add to this, all vehicles entering the NCR will be automatically registered to check for violating anti-pollution norms in order to make it easier for monitoring agencies.
In Monday’s meeting with the Ministry, the Delhi traffic police demanded that fines for polluting vehicles, and those overloading or causing congestion be increased to improve compliance with traffic rules.
“The traffic police in Delhi have issued 10,000 challans for not maintaining lane discipline, which was identified as a key reason for congestion and traffic pile-ups, resulting in longer hours spent on the roads, thus contributing to vehicular pollution,” the Minister said.
Mr. Javadekar further said burning of stubble and grass will also be made illegal as it contributes to air pollution.
The Motor Vehicles Act will be appropriately amended in the forthcoming parliamentary session to rein in on polluting vehicles. “Only BS4 (Bharat Stage emission standards) vehicles will now be registered in the NCR to check pollution.”
The government will also be training safai karmacharis as part of their effort to educate municipal staff to comply with environmental rules and regulations, he added.
Drawing a line to curb pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR), the Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that polluting vehicles should be banned from entering the city.
Energy from waste
The Centre has issued a three-month deadline to adopt a slew of measures like adopting a waste-to-energy conversion system. These measures have to be in place before July 2 this year.
Clearing the air
One of the key suggestions made by the Environment Minister was to turn coal fired plants in NCR into gas plants.
All vehicles entering NCR will be automatically registered to check for violating anti-pollution norms in order to make it easier for monitoring agencies.
No stubble burning
Mr. Javadekar has said that burning of stubble and grass will also be made illegal as it is one of the biggest contributors to air pollution. Such cases are reported more during the harvest season.
Act and Train
Move to amend the Motor Vehicles Act in the forthcoming parliamentary session and train safai karmacharis as part of their effort to educate municipal staff to comply with environmental rules and implement them.