A lot is done but more focused and collective action needed for mitigation of Air pollution: Prakash Javadekar

New Delhi: Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minsiter, Shri Prakash Javadekar today chaired a review meeting on the situation of air pollution which has been a recurrent environmental concern in winter season in Northern India especially in Delhi NCR region over last few years. Five states Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab particpated in the meeting.

In a press briefing after the meeting which lasted for more than 90 minutes,Shri Javadekar said, that the meeting was fruitful in addressing the issue and that centre and state have worked and will work together to implement steps to combat air pollution, but more needs to be done.

In an effort to combat air pollution caused due to stubble burning the Minister informed that the centre has allotted a fund of Rs. 1700 crore to the states for stubble management. Currently,80% subsidy to cooperatives and 50% subsidy to individuals on machineries for stubble is being provided to curb pollution caused due to stubble burning.

The Minister stated that Hotspots have been identified in states of UP, Haryana and Rajasthan too and the state governments have been directed to pay more attention to these. State action plans have been made and discussed which will be implemented. Union minister emphasized that Delhi government has been directed to take more action on the 13 hotspots in Delhi so as to reduce the air pollution in the capital. 50 teams of CPCB will be deployed in Delhi NCR region to take appropriate action this year.

He further added that the trial of Pusa Microbial Decomposer Capsule is underway in Delhi NCR and informed that Uttar Pradesh will be using this technology over an area of 10,000 hectrares this year and Delhi will be using the same for 800 hectares as informed by Environment Ministers of these states during the meeting.Union Minister Prakash Javadekar also stated the importance of using Bio Decomposers, Bio CNG and Bio power to reduce air pollution and its negative impact.

The minister emphasised that there are several other factors that contribute to air pollution other than stubble burning which include constructions and demolition waste, poor waste management, unpaved roads and dust management, Bio mass burning, etc. Today,States have shared their plans to fight against pollution and the Centre have suggested more steps to deal with it further.

The minister informed that several measures have been taken by the centre like BS VI norms have been introduced; power plants of Badarpur have Sonipat have been closed. He stated that Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways have helped massively in reducing vehicular air pollution in Delhi and nearly 60,000 vehicles are diverted from Delhi which earlier used to go through Delhi.

To conclude the minister appealed to the state governments as well as the masses to also take constructive measures to contribute in reducing air pollution and informed that the Central Pollution Control Board will work actively with all states on a daily basis to monitor the level of pollution.

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