CPCB points to lacunae in Delhi’s pollution plan

Nearly 40% complaints by citizens posted via the SAMEER app are unattended

Published - October 08, 2020 01:00 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Central Pollution Control Board has pointed out several “shortcomings” in Delhi’s pollution control plan, according to a letter by the agency’s head to the Delhi government viewed by The Hindu .

The CPCB deployed teams from September 15-21 in known pollution hotspots in the city to check if regulations were being enforced against activities such as dumping of construction and demolition (C&D) waste, whether dust mitigation measures were being undertaken and conducting random audits of pollution-under-control certificates.

Among the lacunae pointed out were that nearly 40% of complaints by citizens posted via the SAMEER app — designed specifically for consumer complaints — were unattended. Thirteen of the most polluted hotspots were expected to furnish action plans and Wazirpur had yet to provide one. The Delhi Jal Board, Public Works Department and Irrigation and Food and Control Department also hadn’t furnished their ‘winter action plans’ and mixed municipal solid waste at the dumpsites in Bhalswa, Ghazipur and Okhla. Nearly all major districts were reporting instances of wanton dumping of C&D waste, roads left unpaved, open burning of garbage, traffic congestion and industrial emissions.

‘More needs to be done’

“Some tasks to curb air pollution in Delhi have been accomplished but more needs to be done,” says the letter signed by Shiv Das Meena, chairman, CPCB and addressed to Vijay Kumar Dev, Chief Secretary, Delhi. On Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the Delhi government would be creating a ‘24x7 war room’.

A key prong this year was the use of the bio-decomposer technique developed by the PUSA Research Institute which the Delhi government will be taking to farmers’ doorsteps from Tuesday.

“We have also delineated 13 pollution hotspots for which detailed and specific plans will be made. We are creating the ‘Green Delhi’ app, which will receive complaints of pollution that will need to be taken care of in a time-bound manner,” he had said on Monday.

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