NEW DELHI: In the backdrop of air quality plunging into 'severe' category across Delhi, the government today said that it has taken concrete measures including ban on burning of wastes to tackle the pollution level in the national capital and country.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, in a written reply in Lok Sabha, said the Ministry of Earth Sciences has informed that the usual phenomenon of moderate fog, smog or haze has been reported from several areas in Delhi.
"The government, after realizing the gravity of air pollution, has taken more concrete measures including launching of Swatch Bharat Abhiyan, implementation of Bharat Stage IV norms in 63 cities and Bharat Stage III norms in the country.
"Ban on burning of leaves, biomass, municipal solid wastes in cities like Delhi, notification of relevant draft rules including those pertaining to construction and demolition waste, coordination meeting at official and ministerial level with Delhi and other states in NCR has also been taken forward," Javadekar said.
A short term plan has been reviewed and long term plans have been formulated by states to mitigate pollution in NCR, while stringent industrial standards have been formulated and notified for public comments and standards for sugar industry, thermal power plants have been formulated, he said.
"The government is giving high priority for public partnership in lane discipline, car pooling, vehicle maintenance, pollution under control certification, idling of vehicles and others.
"Out of 3,386 major industries, 1,782 industries have installed online continuous (24X7) monitoring devices, while others are in the process of installing. Construction of peripheral eastern and western expressways around Delhi to divert non-destined vehicles has been initiated," Javadekar said.
He said that various steps to improve ambient air quality in Delhi, include notification of National Ambient Air Quality Standards envisaging 12 pollutants, formulation of regulations, setting up of monitoring network for assessment of ambient air quality, introduction of cleaner and alternate fuels, creation of infrastructure for pollution control amongst others.