Government, LG push for ‘local area plan’ to curb pollution

While Delhi’s air quality continues to remain ‘very poor’ despite a change in weather conditions, the Delhi government and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung have now pushed for a ‘local area plan’ to curb air pollution.

According to government officials, this will be a first-time experiment of its sort in the Capital. The average air pollution (PM 2.5 levels) is higher in some areas in Delhi like Anand Vihar and RK Puram.

“Pollution readings for the city were higher by 20 per cent because of high pollution in Anand Vihar. Special attention should be given to the area in terms of bringing down combustion levels,” said Chandraker Bharti, Secretary (Environment), in a meeting headed by the LG on Friday.

Friday’s meeting was the fifth air pollution review meeting chaired by the LG since emergency measures were introduced on November 7 to deal with the alarming pollution levels post-Diwali.

“On top priority, Anand Vihar—one of the monitoring stations of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC)—will be made dust-free. This will be followed by RK Puram and Punjabi Bagh,” said a senior environmentalist from the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), who also attended the meeting.

The plan includes paving the Anand Vihar bus depot to reduce dust, introducing measures to control the Ghazipur landfill fire, and adopting dust control measures at the Integrated Freight Complex here, said officials.

Bharti also flagged the issue of vehicles on city roads. The government, in a study done by the Delhi Traffic Police, has identified around 200 bottlenecks on major corridors. They will be decongested to bring down emission levels.

In the last meeting, the LG had instructed the Transport Department to prepare a detailed plan to promote the use of public transport.

The Transport Department has been asked to consider the possibility of reducing fares in all DTC buses, to promote the use of public transport, at least for the next two months, especially keeping the winter months in mind.

Meanwhile, the DPCC said it has closed 42 units of polluting factories in industrial areas and 81 in redevelopment areas.

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