The Centre on Thursday said that 95 per cent of the air pollution in the national capital is due to local factors and only four per cent is by stubble burning. Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that around 95 per cent of the pollution is due to factors like dust, construction and biomass burning and the share of stubble burning is only around 4 per cent as on date.
In order to step up efforts for ensuring better air quality, 50 teams of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have been deployed from Thursday to make extensive field visits in the Delhi-NCR region.
Addressing the nodal officers of the teams in New Delhi, Javadekar said that during the current times of COVID-19 the members of the team are no less than Corona Warriors as they will be visiting and giving feedback from the ground, which will help in mitigating Air pollution.
On spot reporting of major air polluting sources such as major construction activities without proper control measures, dumping of garbage & construction waste alongside the roads and on open plots, unpaved roads, open burning of garbage/industrial waste, etc. will be done by these teams using the SAMEER App.
The teams will visit Delhi and NCR towns–Noida, Ghaziabad, Meerut in Uttar Pradesh; Gurugram, Faridabad, Ballabgarh, Jhajjar, Panipat, Sonepat in Haryana; and Bhiwadi, Alwar, Bharatpur in Rajasthan. These teams will specifically focus on hotspot areas where the problem is aggravated.
Feedback on polluting activities will be shared with concerned agencies through an automated system, for quick action. Details will also be shared with state governments. This will help in taking timely actions and monitoring at appropriate levels by the concerned agencies.
A Central Control Room at CPCB Head Quarters has been made functional for keeping track of pollution levels on hour to hour basis and overall coordination with State agencies. In addition, district wise nodal officers have been appointed for better management and coordination with teams.
Air quality in the winter season is a major environmental concern in Delhi and NCR region. Various efforts are being taken since the past five years for air quality management in the region. Although gradual year on year improvement in air quality has been observed, a lot needs to be done.