Environment secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, along with officials from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF & CC) and representatives of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) will hold a meeting on 1 October to review the progress of air pollution measures and the problem of stubble burning, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
The virtual meeting will also be attended by the environment secretaries of Delhi and the four neighbouring states along with the members of the pollution control boards and corporations like the NDMC and the DDA, he said.
The Union environment minister told a press conference here that the meeting will review the work done by the states in the last two years to handle the issue of crop residue burning.
“The problem of air pollution is not restricted to Delhi and NCR. It is a common problem of all the areas falling under the same airshed, which includes Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan,” Javadekar said.
The meeting, to be held virtually, will also be attended by chiefs of the Municipal Corporations of Delhi and the New Delhi Municipal Council.
Javadekar also said 50 teams of CPCB officials will be deployed from 15 October to monitor sources of pollution in Delhi, and recommend quick fixes.
Javadekar also listed some of the initiatives taken by the Narendra Modi government since 2016 to fight pollution. These include introduction of BS VI vehicles and fuel, incentives to boost e-vehicles usage, and completion of peripheral highways that prevent unnecessary traffic from entering the capital.
He, however, said despite all efforts Delhi is likely to see increased pollution levels for two-three months in winter due to meteorological conditions.
According to a report by the CPCB and the Ministry, cold, dry air, and ground based inversion with low wind conditions are responsible for increasing concentration of pollutants during winter in Delhi.