5 states failed to comply with air quality panel’s order to reduce pollution – government report to SC

Joggers near India Gate amid rising air pollution in the nation’s capital on November 15, 2020 | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | The imprint

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New Delhi: A situation report submitted to the Supreme Court by the Union’s Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) shows that states barely complied with the instructions and orders issued by the Commission for the Quality Management of air (CAQM) as a result of poor air quality in Delhi.

In an affidavit delivered to the highest court on Thursday, the ministry listed the orders the CAQM had issued since January 2021 and how five states / UT – Delhi (UT), Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab – got there. conformed in each Category.

Data indicates that Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have done little to ensure that industries in their states located in the National Capital Region (NCR) switch to cleaner fuels.

Rajasthan is the only state that has complied with CAQM orders to seal off polluting diesel generators that operate in the regions that are part of the NCR.

Regarding dust control measures, the report states that while Delhi partially followed the steps suggested by CAQM, UP, Haryana and Rajasthan were classified as “poorly complied with”.

Read also : Delhi-NCR families seeking treatment for pollution-related illness doubled in one week (survey)

Peak main source

The CAQM has identified industrial pollution as the main source of the peak air pollution in Delhi.

As a result, the CAQM on August 12 gave instructions to Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to switch industrial units in the RCN to a cleaner fuel like PNG (Piped Natural Gas). , indicates the report.

Delhi is the only state where most industrial units – 1,635 out of 1,636 – have switched to cleaner fuels.

In Haryana, only 399 industrial units located in the NCR adopted greener fuels, while more than 1,480 units were required to do so, according to the CAQM.

Uttar Pradesh, too, has succeeded in converting only fifty percent of the factories in the NCR – 1,160 out of 2,273 – to clean fuels. In Rajasthan, 191 out of 525 dwellings comply with the CAQM directive.

While Rajasthan has given an action plan to comply with the CAQM directive, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have not provided any timelines, the Commission said in the status report.

He also said states should be asked to explain why they haven’t taken action against industries that have remained non-compliant.

“Why no closure? “

Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are at fault when it comes to shutting down industrial units that continue to run on polluting fuels, while PNG is easily accessible.

More than 220 such units had to be closed in Haryana and 439 in Uttar Pradesh. None, however, have closed, the Commission said in the report.

States were also found to be failing to follow guidelines for shutting down units that violate emission control standards. The report said Delhi had only issued closure orders for five of these units, while 10 were found guilty of non-compliance.

Likewise, Haryana ordered the closure of only three units despite 278 units that did not meet emission standards. In UP, 16 factories were closed against 122 polluting units and Rajasthan closed only one, while 14 were found in violation of standards.

Regarding CAQM’s November 16 directive to stop diesel generators from operating, the report notes that Rajasthan is the only state to have sealed 101 diesel generators in areas falling within the NCR.

The Commission writes that it had not received any news from Delhi, Haryana and UP regarding the sealing of the generators. A CAQM inspection team found 19 generator sets operating in Delhi, 110 in Haryana and 83 in UP.

Dust control

Although four states – Delhi, UP, Haryana and Rajasthan – impound diesel and gasoline vehicles over 10 and 15 years old respectively and fined those driving without a valid pollution control certificate, they did not. have not encouraged the use of electric or zero emission vehicles. vehicles, as required in a CAQM notice issued in February 2021.

Another CAQM order issued on June 11 – to develop a web portal for online tracking of dust reduction measures – was followed by Delhi and UP. A total of 491 and 205 construction sites respectively are monitored in the two states. Haryana and Rajasthan have yet to commission the project.

In February 2021, the CAQM issued two opinions to States, asking them to fight against pollution by setting up dust management cells. After receiving no response, the Commission in the report asked the tribunal to request a report on the actions taken by the five states.

Thatch burning

The report also states that the implementation of an action plan to control stubble burning has not been very encouraging, with the CAQM rating Haryana “very bad”, Punjab “bad” and “not satisfactory “to UP.

This year, thatch burning in Haryana has increased by more than 60%, while a decrease was seen in Punjab, the report suggests.

Although the cumulative number of fires increased from 83,002 in 2020 to 71,304 in 2021 in Punjab, it increased by 66.27% in Haryana – 6,987 in 2021, compared to 4,202 last year. Stubble burn cases decreased in PU from 407 to 252.

(Edited by Saikat Niyogi)

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