Air Pollution Emergency: PMO directly monitoring measures taken to improve situation in Delhi/NCR

With Delhi again turning in to a gas chamber, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has now decided to directly get involved. The Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, P.K Mishra is reviewing the measures taken by the States of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to tackle air pollution. Mishra has sought to know the details of additional measures taken to check fresh cases of fire and stubble burning in these States during the last 24 hours.

The Chief Secretary, Punjab stated that he is personally monitoring the situation with Deputy Commissioners of various districts where hotspots have been identified. He added that FIRs are also being registered for violation of The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. The State Government is taking strict action by enforcing the necessary fines for incidents of violation of the said Act.

The Chief Secretary, Haryana stated that the Chief Minister has directed all concerned to reduce the cases of stubble burning in the State at the earliest.  She mentioned that the teams are in the field round the clock to control the cases of air pollution.

The Chief Secretary, Delhi stated that water sprinkling has been intensified, and identified hotspots and corridors are being focussed upon to improve the situation. Open dumping of garbage in the city has been stopped and maximum fine is being imposed and collected from the violators of these norms.

India Meteorological Department indicated that weather conditions are likely to remain favourable over the next few days.

The Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of pre-emptive action, as necessary. He said there is need to establish a mechanism for immediate action. He appreciated the efforts being taken by all concerned and mentioned that after taking short-term measures, a system will be put in place for a permanent long-term solution.

The Principal Advisor to the Prime Minister P. K. Sinha, Cabinet Secretary, Secretary, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Secretary, Agriculture, Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board, Director General of India Meteorological Department and Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi along with other senior officials, were part of the deliberations.

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