To abate pollution due to stubble burning The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in the National Capital region informed that Punjab, NCR states have prepared detailed action plans for the prevention and control of stubble burning. The plans have been formulated based on the framework made by CAQM and directions have been issued for strict implementation of the action plans.
The Commission has directed State Governments of Punjab, NCR States and GNCTD for implementation of the action, based on following components of the framework : –
- In-situ Crop Residue Management- Supported by CRM Scheme of Ministry of Agriculture
143801 machines already available. Another 56513 are being procured in the current year to facilitate In-Situ Crop residue Management.
- Ex-situ Crop Residue Management
- Prohibition of Stubble/Crop Residue Burning.
- Effective monitoring/enforcement.
- Plans / Schemes to reduce the generation of paddy straw.
- IEC activities for the Plan of Action
Directions have been issued for adopting a Standard protocol developed by ISRO for recording and monitoring the fire counts owing to Stubble burning. With regards to promotion of use of Bio-Decomposer technology developed by IARI, as part of in- situ crop residue management the Commission has been informed that PUSA Bio decomposer planned for application in 6 lakh acres in U.P, 1 Lakh acres in Haryana, 7413 Acres in Punjab and 4000 Acres in Delhi respectively.
Review of the projects with major stakeholders for ex-situ utilization of crop residue and promoting utilization of Paddy Straw Pellets/Briquettes for Co-firing in Thermal Power Plants- Directions issued to all 11 Thermal Power Plants with in 300Kms radius of Delhi are some other steps with regards to Agriculture Stubble burning.
Directions have also been issued to NCR state Govts/GNCTD, road owning agencies and municipal bodies for abatement of dust from Roads / open areas through a “Dust Control and Management Cell’’.
Activities identified for effective road dust management include Optimum utilization of mechanized means of sweeping of roads, scientific disposal of dust collected in designated sites/landfills, sprinkling of dust suppressants and water on roads and open areas, proper maintenance of roads, paving/Greening of Non-paved road sides, greening of central verges, preference to cemented roads over bituminous roads especially in Industrial areas, monitoring and Compliance of dust control measures and plantation of Trees/Greening on a large scale.
The Commission has also issued directions for “Control/Prevention of Air Pollution from Construction and Demolition activities” with illustrative dust control / mitigative measures and Monitoring through a dedicated Web-portal and Video fencing of projects.
Installation of Anti-smog guns and screens at construction sites, dust-suppressants and water mist, transportation of C&D materials in covered vehicles, installation of air quality monitoring sensors in project sites and Self-audit and certification mechanism by the project agencies are the key steps towards management of Dust from Construction and Demolition Project Activities
For mitigating the Industrial Pollution, the Commission informed that shifting of Industries to PNG/Cleaner Fuels is a priority. Delhi has now completely switched over to PNG/Cleaner fuels for all of its 1635 identified industries. In NCR, Haryana has so far shifted 408 industrial units out of 1469 identified industrial units. In U.P. 1167 industries, out of 2273 industrial units and in Rajasthan, 124 out of 436 identified industries have been shifted to PNG.
With a view to minimize coal in industries, Government of Haryana, UP and Rajasthan have been advised to prepare action plan for shifting of industries to cleaner fuels in the NCR Districts, where Gas infrastructure is already available. Action plan is also being pursued for bringing in PNG infrastructure to those industrial areas in NCR districts where Gas is not available and strict vigil on use of unapproved fuels in NCR by various enforcement agencies are some of the important measures
Vehicular Pollution is another major source of Air Pollution and the Commission has issued advisory for “Mandating procurement of zero emission and e-vehicles” to give a further push to clean technologies in transport sector and a gradual shift towards zero emission vehicles/ e-mobility and progress reviewed.
All the identified 124 border entry points of Delhi have now been provided with RFID system to facilitate cashless toll/ cess collection thus avoiding huge traffic congestions and resultant heavy air pollution at the border points.
A dedicated taskforce envisaged in each NCR state to continuously monitor and take steps regularly to ensure smooth traffic management, including developing an “Intelligent Traffic Management System” (ITMS).Petrol/Diesel vehicles more than 15/10 years old not permitted to ply in NCR and progress reviewed periodically.
State- wise action plans have also been prepared for control of Bio–mass/Municipal Solid Waste Burning and fires in Landfill Sites, focusing on deployment of enforcement teams, quick complaint redressals and corrective actions through IT enabled platforms.
Some of the other initiatives by the Commission are regular monitoring through a reporting mechanism developed by the “Safeguarding and Enforcement” Sub-Committee bimonthly, a Decision Support System (DSS) for Air Quality Emergency response- A technical support team with professionals from reputed institutions like IIT Delhi (lead partner), IMD, IITM, TERI, NEERI and C- DAC Pune has developed a preliminary Decision Support System and a Comprehensive Action Plan formulated by the State Governments/GNCTD for Plantation/Greening measures in NCR.