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Poor Air Quality: EPCA Lashes Out At Authorities Over Traffic Congestion, Garbage Burning

In a meeting to take stock of Delhi’s air pollution situation, Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) Chairperson Bhure Lal expressed disappointment with the civic bodies on gaps in monitoring garbage accumulation and opening burning of waste and ordered the police to prevent traffic congestion to curb pollution

Poor Air Quality: EPCA Lashes Out At Authorities Over Traffic Congestion, Garbage Burning

New Delhi: The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) on Friday came down heavily on authorities over continuing traffic congestion and garbage burning activities that are worsening air quality in the national capital. EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal, in a meeting with representatives of Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIDC), civic bodies, police and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), asked the police to strictly regulate traffic and ensure its smooth passage.

Various road stretches in Sarai Rohilla, Anand Vihar, Zakhira Najafgarh Road, Soan Park, Azadpur Mandi where heavy traffic congestion is resulting in an increase in pollution were identified. In Sarai Rohilla, Mr. Lal was told by authorities that the absence of a foot-over bridge is resulting in an increase in traffic. He said,

Illegal encroachment further adds to traffic woes in the capital. Guards need to be posted to ensure smooth passage of traffic.

Also Read: Air Pollution: Delhi Environment Minister Directs Authorities To Control Local Polluting Factors

Mr. Lal also ordered police to ensure traffic regulations are followed strictly, especially in Soan Park in Mundaka where he said no traffic regulations are followed. He expressed concern over garbage burning in Bawana, Mundaka and Narela which worsens the air quality. He lashed out at the DSIDC Limited for not monitoring the day-to-day status of garbage accumulation. The EPCA Chairperson also came down heavily on civic body officials over not lifting garbage regularly in Nangloi.

Delhi’s air quality has been oscillating between ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ categories for the past three weeks. Delhi’s air quality was in the ‘very poor’ category on Tuesday, before deteriorating to ‘severe’ on Wednesday as it was on Monday.

Since Wednesday the air quality was in the severe category before slightly improving on Friday morning to very poor. In view of the prevalence of severe air quality for over 31 hours, the EPCA on Thursday imposed the 24-hour ban on the entry of trucks.

Also Read: No Idling: Turn Off The Car Engines And Reduce Air Pollution, Delhi Children’s Message To Adults

Entry of trucks to Delhi would be stopped for 24 hours starting 11 pm Friday in view of the severe pollution in the national capital, the Supreme Court-appointed EPCA has instructed authorities. In a letter to chief secretaries of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, Lal directed them to stop the entry of truck traffic into Delhi, except essential commodities, from 11 pm on January 4 to 11 pm of January 5.

“The enforcement of this direction requires coordination of all NCR (National Capital Region) states and you are therefore, requested to take steps to ensure that this happens. Also, the opening of the Eastern and Western Expressway will make this easier to implement as the trucks that are not destined for Delhi now have a convenient alternative to take,” Mr. Lal said.

Mr. Lal also urged people to minimise the use of personal vehicles and avoid being outside for prolonged periods. The direction came after the recommendations of the Central Pollution Control Board-led task force.

Also Read: India 4th Highest Emitter Of CO2: Study

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 pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollutionclean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.

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