November 10, 2023
NEW DELHI – All Delhi ministers will work at the ground level in different districts to ensure strict implementation of air pollution control measures in the city, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said here on Thursday.
Addressing a press conference here, Rai said pollution levels in northern India remained high. Over the last eight to ten days, there has been slow air movement, decreasing temperatures, and the accumulation of pollution.
Naming biomass, vehicles, and stubble burning as the major sources of pollution, he said several vehicles, including BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel ones, have been banned under the GRAP-IV,.
“However, it has been observed that GRAP-IV orders are not effectively enforced at the ground level by administrative authorities,” Rai lamented.
He informed about a meeting convened on Thursday to ensure the implementation of GRAP at the ground level which was attended by all Delhi ministers. At the meeting, it was decided that all ministers would personally visit various districts to monitor the situation.
The Delhi environment minister said at the meeting, discussions were held on how to activate the departments as implementation is a big challenge. “The Cabinet has expressed displeasure over administrative laxity. The ministers will be working at the ground level in different districts,” he said.
Senior officers, secretaries and department HoDs have been asked to be on-ground to monitor the pollution situation, he added.
He said, “As per the Weather Department, the next two days will be cloudy. The wind speed next week is expected to remain the same as today. In this situation, we need to control the sources of pollution,” he said.
The minister said he was in charge of North and North East districts, Kailash Gahlot is in charge of South West and West districts, Atishi is in charge of East and South East districts, Saurabh Bhardwaj is in charge of South and New Delhi, Imran Hussain is in charge of Central and Shahdara and Raaj Kumar Anand is in charge of North West district.
The ministers in their respective districts will be giving orders to the officers in charge of pollution control and will hit the ground for inspection as well. “The minister will give orders to the officers associated with pollution duty and will also visit the ground himself. These visits will be especially on the borders of Delhi and there will also be visits to construction sites because, even though construction work has stopped at many places, rules regarding dust control have not been implemented. Officials have also been ordered to inspect,” he said.
All bus depots will be monitored, and buses arriving from other states will be inspected, Rai said.
Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) has been implemented in the national capital after the city’s air quality plummeted to the ‘severe plus’ category.