The Delhi government is in the process of preparing a winter action plan to mitigate air pollution this winter.
A similar 10-point action plan was in place last winter. The plan will include 15 focus points, according to Environment Minister Gopal Rai who chaired a meeting Thursday with officials of the environment department, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), Development Department and Forest department.
Rai said the 15 focus points that were identified include pollution from dust, controlling stubble burning within Delhi, burning of waste, industrial emissions, vehicular emissions, pollution at the ‘hotspots’ in Delhi, real-time source apportionment study that will be done this winter, smog towers, firecrackers, increasing “green areas”, and “dialogue with the central government and neighbouring states.
“In previous years, the air pollution situation in the city was assessed at this meeting…on this point, officials said reports during peak pollution time stated that the around 31% of the pollution within the city is contributed by sources within the city, and 69% pollution is contributed by the NCR,” Rai said.
To begin work on the plan, on September 5, representatives of 33 departments, including the MCD, Delhi Cantonment Board, Traffic Police, and Environment Department will meet, and the different departments will be assigned tasks, Rai said.
This year, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has revised the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) and the meeting on September 5 will also discuss how the revised plan can be implemented within the city, Rai added. The CAQM has issued directions stating that the revised GRAP is to come into force from October 1 onwards this year.
Asked about stubble burning in Punjab, Rai said, “The Punjab government is putting in efforts to deal with stubble burning in Punjab.” For the last two years, the Delhi government has sprayed a bio-decomposer on farmland in Delhi in an effort to control stubble burning within the limits of the city.