New Delhi: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has directed public and enforcement agencies to immediately join social media platforms on which citizens can lodge their complaints on pollution directly, noting that actions of these bodies have been “inadequate”. The directions have been made to North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and state pollution control boards of Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, among other public bodies.
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In a meeting with public agencies and state pollution control boards, CPCB Member Secretary Prashant Gargava asked the agencies to join social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to facilitate citizens on lodging complaints on air polluting activities. “It has been observed that most of the agencies are yet to join social media platforms and take action in respect of complaints concerning them,” the CPCB was quoted as saying by the minutes of the meeting that took place last week.
The CPCB said that the reported complaints are forwarded to the concerned agencies for action. It said,
It is observed that most of the agencies are yet to join and also actions taken on complaints are inadequate. It was reiterated that agencies must immediately create a Facebook page and a Twitter handle to join CPCB social media platform to address complaints.
CPCB added that the ‘action taken’ response must also be posted on the same platform through which complaints are received. Mr. Gargava directed representatives of agencies to ensure effective corrective action in all cases of air polluting activities being reported through social media interface and Sameer app that has been developed by the CPCB.
Following the Supreme Court’s direction, the CPCB on November 1 put up guidelines for the public to file complaints of air pollution in Delhi-NCR on its social media page, official website and through its Sameer app.
On October 29, the apex court directed the CPCB to immediately join social media platforms on which citizens could lodge their complaints regarding pollution directly “to be acted upon by the task force responsible for implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)”.
Delhi has been battling alarming levels of pollution for over a month due to regional factors like stubble burning and localised factors like pollution from vehicles, firecrackers, construction activities among others, following which a number of steps were taken by the CPCB to check air pollution.
On Monday, Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority Chairperson Bhure Lal also lashed out at enforcement agencies, alleging that Delhi’s civic and urban bodies are “not properly implementing” the directions issued to curb pollution. He said enforcing agencies were “completely dormant” and bodies like the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) were indulging in a blame game.
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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.