The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has directed pollution watchdogs of Delhi and three other states to ensure strict compliance of the ban on sale and use of firecrackers during Christmas and New Year.
In an order, CPCB Chairman Shiv Das Meena also directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the pollution control boards of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to ensure that stone crushers and hot mix plants remain closed till January 2, 2021.
“Considering likely increase in activities during Christmas and New Year celebrations, pollution control boards of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh must ensure that hot mix plants and stone crushers remain closed all the time till January 2, 2021.
“The agencies must ensure that frequency of mechanized cleaning of roads and water sprinkling is increased particularly on the road stretches with high dust generation potential. Agencies must ensure compliance of orders of courts and the National Green Tribunal regarding banning of sale and use of firecrackers. The orders shall come into force with immediate effect,” the CPCB chairman said.
In the meantime, the frequency of mechanised road cleaning and water sprinkling will also be increased, especially on road stretches that have high dust generation potential.
The pollution control body has taken the decision to prevent air pollution levels from reaching an alarming stage in Delhi during the New Year celebrations.
The quality of air in Delhi has continued to deteriorate. The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) was standing at 388 for the second consecutive day on Sunday, according to the Ministry of Earth Science's air quality monitor, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). The city had recorded an AQI of 334 on Sunday morning.
At 6 am on Monday, the concentrations of the particulate matter (PM) with a diameter of 10 and 2.5 microns clocked at 392 and 234 respectively, both falling under the ‘very poor’ category, SAFAR stated.