NEW DELHI: The Centre today blamed weak enforcement of environment laws as the cause of alarming air pollution levels in Delhi and has directed the neighbouring states to take stringent measures to curb the pollution.
Environment Secretary A N Jha held a meeting with officials from five states – Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab to discuss measures to be taken immediately that can help to bring down pollution levels.
The National Green Tribunal also pulled up the Centre and Delhi for not bothered about the pollution levels in Delhi. It termed the situation akin to an "emergency" and said both the Center and Delhi are busy shifting the blame on each other.
The possibility of imposing a condition during the environment clearance granted to major projects located in Punjab for contribution of funds under CSR towards control of stubble burning was agreed upon.
The State Governments agreed to interact with major industries for tapping resources under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds, for taking measures to control stubble burning, as well as to procure farm machinery.
Briefing media after the meeting Jha said that enforcement mechanism is still weak and states have been asked to take measures to ensure adherence to laws.
It was agreed that action against visibly polluting vehicles, overloading vehicles and vehicles parked against non-designated areas will be further intensified.
“Central Pollution Control Board and states concerned have also been directed to carryout joint inspection of 17 categories of highly polluting industries located in NCR Region for verification of compliance of emission standards and strict action against violators,” said Jha.
The Delhi Government will examine immediately the possibility of providing funds from the Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) and diesel cess to the neighbouring states for incentivising machinery to stop stubble burning.