Delhi

Rai seeks action against thermal plants, brick kilns

Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Thursday said that he has requested Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar to take action against 11 thermal power plants in States close to Delhi and brick kilns in these areas to reduce air pollution during winter.

Mr. Rai recommended Environment Department officials of Punjab and Haryana to use “bio-decomposer” developed by the PUSA Institute in Delhi to decompose crop stubble, which can be later used as fertiliser, instead of burning it.

“Last year, there was zero stubble burning inside Delhi. However, in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Western U.P., massive stubble burning took place last year which contributed to 45% to Delhi’s air pollution,” the Minister said.

Mr. Rai made the recommendations during a meeting Mr. Javadekar held with Environment Ministers and other officials of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan via videoconference on Thursday.

Mr. Rai said: “We have also requested the Central government to intervene and make a timeline within which the thermal power plants of the NCR should obtain new technology and stop the old technology. We have also requested the Central government and the States to push for new technology in the brick kilns of the NCR.”

Centre to test it

Mr. Javadekar said that the Centre will test the technology this year. “This year we will test it in all States, in thousands of hectares, and based on the results we will expand it next year,” he said.

“We have given machines worth ₹1,700 crore to farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Teams of the Central Pollution Control Board will be closely monitoring instances of violation,” said Javadekar.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 7:28:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/rai-seeks-action-against-thermal-plants-brick-kilns/article32748198.ece

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