With air quality deteriorating on a daily basis, the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) on Tuesday asked Delhi and adjoining States to submit action plans to control air pollution in the Capital.
Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, who chaired the meeting of the NCRPB, said that air pollution in Delhi is a matter of serious concern and Delhi, along with Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab should act in unison to mitigate the suffering of the people.
The meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Urban Development Rao Inderjit Singh, Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar, Urban Development Minister of Delhi Satyendar Jain, Chairman of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), officials of the State Pollution Control Boards and other senior officials.
Affidavit to High Court
The Board will soon file an affidavit before the Delhi High Court regarding the matter, a UD ministry spokesman said.
In the meeting, the States gave details of measures being taken to contain air pollution being caused by stubble burning in States adjoining Delhi and Punjab, burning of garbage, Solid Waste Management and road dust and construction activities.
The CPCB said that an action plan to curb pollution was prepared under the directions of the Supreme Court in November, which could be part of the affidavit to be filed by the NCRPB.
‘Increase tree cover’
Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have been asked to increase forest and tree cover in the NCR in a phased manner to 20 per cent of total geographical area while expressing concern over the present cover of just 3.30 per cent in 2012 — declining from 4.30 per cent in 1999.
The Board also discussed forest cover in the National Capital Region, definition of forests and Aravalli Range and delineation of Natural Conservation Zones (NCZs).
The NCRPB made it clear that NCZs are the major natural features identified as environmentally sensitive areas, which include the extension of Aravalli ridge in Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan, forest areas, the rivers and tributaries of Yamuna, Ganga, Kali, Hindon and Sahibi, sanctuaries, major lakes and water bodies such as Badkal lake, Suraj Kund and Damdama in Haryana Sub-region and Siliserh lake in Rajasthan.
Prepare Regional Plan-2041
The Board also authorised the NCRPB Secretariat to initiate preparation of Regional Plan-2041 for the National Capital Region.
More inter-State links
The Board also discussed 14 inter-State links with the aim of facilitating seamless travel in the NCR, which includes Kalindi by-pass road from Ashram Chowk to Faridabad by-pass, development of Mehrauli–Guragaon Road as NH-236 to ease traffic on NH-8 and connecting Nelson Mandela T-Point at Vasant Kunj with the existing Gurgaon-Mehrauli Road to reduce travel time.