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Pollution Crisis: Delhi Government Sets Up 6-Member Special Task Force To Implement GRAP

The Special Task Force will coordinate with all the departments involved in the enforcement of pollution control measures and submit a report to the government daily

Delhi Government Sets Up 6-Member Special Task Force

New Delhi: The Delhi government on Thursday (November 16) set up a six-member special task force to ensure strict implementation of the Centre’s air pollution control plan GRAP in the national capital, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said. Delhi’s special secretary (environment) will head the STF whose members include senior officials from the departments of transport, traffic, revenue, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and Public Works Department (PWD).

Also Read: How To Protect Children From The Impact Of Air Pollution

The STF will coordinate with all the departments involved in the enforcement of pollution control measures and submit a report to the government daily, Mr Rai told reporters.

Earlier in the day, Mr Rai held a meeting with departments on the effective implementation of anti-air pollution measures.

Mr Rai had previously reprimanded the departments concerned for their negligence in executing the air pollution control plan and urged them to establish a monitoring mechanism for overseeing the teams responsible for enforcing anti-air pollution measures.

Strict restrictions, including a ban on construction work and the entry of polluting trucks into the capital, under the final stage (Stage IV) of the Centre’s air pollution control plan called the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) had kicked in on November 5 after air quality in the capital dropped to “severe plus” (AQI above 450) levels.

The movement of BS III petrol and BS IV diesel vehicles is banned under the GRAP Stage IV, with exemptions granted to those involved in essential services.

Mr Rai said 16,689 such vehicles have been fined for violating the ban.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Quality Very Poor, Vehicular Emissions Largest Contributor

The minister added that over 19,000 vehicles operating without a valid pollution-under-check (PUC) certificate have been fined since November 3.

Barring a few days around Diwali, Delhi’s air quality has fluctuated between the ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ categories due to unfavourable meteorological conditions hindering the dispersion of pollutants.

On Thursday, the capital’s air quality index (AQI) stood at 412 at 3 pm. Its 24-hour average AQI, recorded at 4 pm every day, stood at 419 on Thursday. It was 401 on Wednesday, 397 on Tuesday, 358 on Monday, 218 on Sunday, 220 on Saturday, 279 on Friday and 437 on Thursday.

Recent findings from a joint project by the Delhi government and IIT-Kanpur revealed that vehicular emissions accounted for about 38 per cent of the national capital’s air pollution on Wednesday. This is projected to rise to 40 per cent on Thursday.

Calm winds and low temperatures are allowing accumulation of pollutants and relief is unlikely over the next few days, an official at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

Also Read: A Delhi Hospital Opens A Special Pollution OPD

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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