Agencies told to pull socks as stubble burning shoots up
NEW DELHI: Despite early figures this year showing fewer farm fires, stubble burning in neighbouring states showed a steep rise in the first week on November. Pictures from the US aerospace research agency NASA showed that stubble burning in states of Punjab and Haryana has increased to alarming levels.
Meanwhile, a Delhi government official said that Environment Minister Imran Hussain on Monday directed all concerned agencies to be on full alert and take all possible efforts for controlling air pollution, given the spurt in stubble burning in neighbouring states and adverse metrological conditions.
Hussain directed the municipal corporations to ensure that vehicles carrying garbage to the landfill sites are properly covered.
He also said that all such vehicles must carry valid pollution under control certificates and no vehicle older than 10 years must be used for transporting garbage to landfill sites.
The civic bodies were also directed to provide details of all vehicles used for lifting and transporting waste material to the Environment Department.
The minister further directed that any sort of accumulation of building and construction material on the roads should be immediately removed and penalised.
Further, construction material lying on the sites should be sprinkled with water and should also remain covered.
He also directed MCDs, the PWD and Delhi Fire Services to undertake water sprinkling from high rise buildings after Diwali for settling the suspended dust particles.
Talking to Millennium Post, Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director of Center for Science and Environment (CSE) said, "Stubble burning picks up in the first week of November. The same thing has happened and the wind speed is really low, which has made the situation worse."
"As per law, the EPCA will monitor the situation for 48 hours and of its stays 'severe' the GRAP for 'severe' category air will be implemented from Wednesday," she added.