Experts suggest measures to suppress Delhi air pollutiontext_fields
New Delhi: In the 'Dialogue towards Clean Air', a two-day event organized by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, experts from NGOs tabled suggestions to be introduced in the field of health. The recommendations presented before Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav on Monday include plans and policies on air pollution, improvement in staff capacity as well as shortage a the local level and broadening the Ujjwala scheme etc., The Indian Express reported.
On Tuesday, the discussions will focus on digging up measures to reduce air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR).
The discussions went through the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), launched in 2019, and had mandated 132 cities included in the programme to prepare city-specific action plans. NCAP aims to achieve a 20 to 30 per cent reduction in PM 10 levels by 2024.
However, Poornima Prabhakaran of the Public Health Foundation of India pointed out that NCAP has no integration with the health ministry, despite being integrated with seven other ministries. There is the need to focus on health in the Indian government's policies and programmes, she said.
Meanwhile, a scientist at the Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy, Pratima Singh, said that though measures are identified but not implemented, the 2024 deadline can't be met. He told the environment minister that the plans were just being "copy-pasted" with a few changes.
Pratima said that Urban Local Bodies were only provided with money but no framework for implementing them.
Further, another expert, Tanushree Ganguly, a researcher at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, opined that an impact assessment is needed on implemented policies to reduce air pollution.
Officials from Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Noida, had presented their city-specific action plans under the NCAP. The event was also attended by representatives of local bodies, Pollution Control Boards and governments in the NCR.
Regarding NCR, Sanjeev Khirwar, Principal Secretary, Environment and Forest, Delhi, told the minister that December 2024 is fixed as the deadline to complete remediation of landfills. He presented that the incident of landfill fires has been reduced considerably in recent years. The minister opined that solid waste management and the burning of waste had been significant issues in the region. He said municipalities should bring up ways to manage solid waste as well as dust from construction.
He said that Biomass burning would not be criminalized, but the government would provide farmers incentives and purchase the crop residue. The residue is not waste but an asset as well as a source of income, he added.