The Environment Ministry on Monday said that the Clean Air Campaign in Delhi had shown a “qualitative” impact on air quality in the first week and that nearly 2,000 ‘challans’, amounting to over ₹50 crore, were issued for pollution-related violations.
This campaign was launched jointly by Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on February 10.
Seventy teams comprising officers of the Environment Ministry, Delhi government, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and municipal corporations started inspecting areas from February 10.
“The teams have so far reported 4,347 cases of violation and issued challans in 1,892 cases, amounting to ₹54 crore,” the Ministry said in a statement.
It said the data collated by the CPCB show that air quality, which was in the ‘very poor’ category at the beginning of the campaign, remained at ‘moderate’ level from February 12-15 and at ‘poor’ level from February 16-18. “There has also been a noticeable reduction in levels of pollution, particularly in comparison to the level on the same day in 2017. There were no ‘moderate’ days of air quality last year. On February 16, 17 and 18 this year, there has been a reduction in pollution levels,” the statement read.
System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) stated that the campaign had resulted in a “significant reduction in the level of air pollution vis-a-vis the business as usual scenario.”
“The lessons learnt from the campaign will be used to further strengthen the activities related to mitigation of pollution, besides addressing knowledge gaps on the basis of wide-ranging consultations held during this period with all stakeholders,” the ministry said.
The Clean Air Campaign will continue till February 23.