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Delhi air quality better; ‘keep up momentum,’ says LG

In a high-level meeting to review the condition of air pollution in city, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung discussed the “graded response action plan” of the Supreme Court with various government agencies including Delhi government officials, MCDs and NDMC. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Environment Minister Imran Hussain also attended the meeting along with senior officers of the concerned departments.

The air quality in Delhi has improved due to the action taken by various agencies, but there is a need to keep up the effort, the LG’s office said. 

“Transport Department of the Delhi government to chalk out a plan to promote use of public transport and present it in the next meeting,” said spokesperson of LG Secretariat. The Supreme Court in its order on December 2, had asked the government to implement “graded response action plan” for pollution in the city which mandates to take up stricter pollution control measures in proportion to the rise in PM 2.5 level in the city. 

It was the fourth review meeting by the LG in which besides chiefs of all the government agencies, environment activists like Director General of Centre for the Science and Environment (CSE) Sunita Narain, Manju Mohan from Centre for Atmospheric Sciences and Tarunvir Singh Khehar, the standing counsel of the Delhi government in National Green Tribunal were also present.

Sunita Narain asked the government to ban use of furnace oil (petrol and diesel) and pet coke in the city as their burning release high level of sulphur. 

The LG asked Delhi Police to act tough against the offenders, a statement from his office said. “The Public Works Department (PWD) informed that they have procured seven mechanical cleaners, which are currently being deployed in Anand Vihar; and by December-end, they would buy nine more such machines,” the statement said. 

In the meeting, East MCD commissioner informed that 638 challans were issued for violation of construction and demolition norms which amounts of Rs 52 lakhs. “The defaulters have been rechallaned and their information is being sent to NGT for higher penalty,” said spokesperson of East MCD. 

The North Municipal Corporation of Delhi Commissioner informed Jung that the Bhalswa fire has been contained by depositing rubbish.

The Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said that 43,050 vehicles have been checked at the Delhi borders, out of which 8,855 have been turned back. Also, 5,344 vehicles have been fined for not carrying the pollution certificate, the statement said.

It added that the Transport Department has issued 1,349 challans for overloading, 2,135 for not carrying PUC certificates and 6,386 for being visibly polluting. 
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