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Delhi minister urges Centre to impose complete ban on firecrackers in NCR states to curb air pollution

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said that states in the National Capital Region should impose a complete ban on firecrackers and stubble burning in the entire region and allow only CNG and electric vehicles.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Updated on: October 17, 2023 16:55 IST
Gopal Rai
Image Source : PTI/FILE Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai

In an effort to reduce air pollution, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday urged the Center to impose a blanket ban on firecrackers and only permit the movement of CNG and electric vehicles within the National Capital Region (NCR). In a letter to the Union Environment Ministry, Rai claimed that the Delhi government has taken several steps to curb air pollution during the winter season. "But these steps will not be effective until Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh deal with the sources of pollution in the NCR region," Rai added. 

A report by the independent environment think tank 'Centre for Science and Environment' revealed that 31 per cent of Delhi's pollution comes from sources within the national capital, while 69 per cent is from sources in NCR states, Rai stated. In addition, he urged the Centre to convene an urgent meeting to address issues causing air pollution in the national capital.

What Delhi minister said on firecrackers and stubble burning

The states in the National Capital Region should impose a complete ban on firecrackers and stubble burning in the entire region and allow only CNG and electric vehicles, the Delhi minister said. "Many industrial units in NCR states are still running on polluting fuels. They should be immediately converted to piped natural gas. The heavily polluting brick kilns running in NCR states should be asked to adopt zig-zag technology to check pollution," he wrote in the letter. 

The Delhi minister also stated that electricity should be ensured for all housing societies in NCR states to reduce dependence on diesel generators. The state governments concerned should be asked to divert non-destined vehicles from their origin point on the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways," Rai wrote in the letter.

Govt reviews measures undertaken to mitigate air pollution in Delhi-NCR

Earlier on October 13, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister PK Mishra chaired the high-level Task Force meeting on air pollution in Delhi-NCR at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). The meeting was held to review the preparedness of various stakeholders to deal with the issue of adverse air quality in Delhi-NCR as the winter season approaches. 

In an effort to ensure the reduction of the paddy stubble burning across Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, Mishra instructed close monitoring of the issue by the Chief Secretaries of the three states. He advised the in-situ management of paddy stubble through Crop Residue Management (CRM) machines and the use of bio-decomposers. He also advised the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) to improve the technology.

(With PTI inputs)

ALSO READ: Delhi-NCR weather: Noida's air quality dips to 'poor' category, AQI stands at 204

 

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