Yadav Holds Meeting With NCR States On Action Plan For Mitigation Of Air Pollution

The minister said coordination and synergy reflected in the action plan by each states under the overall framework prepared by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM).

Planet Outlook
September 24, 2021
Yadav Holds Meeting With NCR States On Action Plan For Mitigation Of Air Pollution

Ahead of winter when the pollution level is likely to spike, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav on Thursday held a key meeting with the governments of Delhi and the neighbouring states on the action plan to mitigate air pollution caused by stubble burning.

The minister said discussions were held over implementation of action plans by states to mitigate pollution due to agriculture stubble burning, dust, construction and demolition waste, biomass burning and vehicular pollution, and noted that air pollution in NCR is a "cause of concern" although its sources are diversified.

"Outcome of the action plan will significantly depend on the efficacy of the enforcement and implementation by the states," the minister said.

Farmers set their fields on fire to quickly clear off the crop residue left behind after harvesting and before cultivating wheat and potato. It is one of the main reasons for the spike in pollution in Delhi-NCR at the onset of winters.

The minister said coordination and synergy reflected in the action plan by each states under the overall framework prepared by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM).

Management of agriculture stubble burning (Parali) was discussed at length during the meeting, the minister said while briefing the media about the meeting.

Burning of stubble during the period of September and October has been attributed to poor air quality of the regions, which get aggravated due to local meteorological conditions in NCT. This has been observed in last few years, the minister said.

It was informed during the meeting that in the last one month, Union environment minister with other major ministries has examined various alternatives and existing policies, and have tried to strengthen the existing in-situ and ex-situ measures for control of stubble burning.

"Measures which are at various stages of its implementation, but will help in providing an enabling environment towards abatement of air pollution in Delhi-NCR, include in-situ management of stubble by bio-decomposition in large scale by Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Punjab, mandatory use of bio-mass with 50 per cent paddy straw as a supplement fuel in thermal power plants in NCR," the minister said.

It also includes setting up a task force to work out the mode and means for utilizing the non-basmati rice stubble as fodder in Rajasthan and Gujarat, common manure development facility using rice straw and private participation to encourage in-situ management of Parali (Bio-decomposition), the minister said.

The meeting was held with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, environment ministers of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and senior officials from Punjab and ministries of Agriculture, Power, Animal Husbandry and all other stakeholders for improvement of air quality in Delhi-NCR which tend to aggravate during the winter season. 

M M Kutty, the Chairman of Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) was also present.

The minister said Rs 200 crores have been allocated by the Haryana government to provide incentive to farmers for containing stubble burning. 

It was mentioned during the meeting that UP is resorting to bio-decomposition of stubble in 10 lakh acres with an innovative programme allowing exchange of stubble with cow dung-based manure. 

Efforts have been made by Haryana government for bio-decomposition in one lakh acre land, by Punjab in 5 lakh acres and in 4,000 acres by Delhi government, a statement said.

"Air pollution in NCR is a cause of concern and the sources are diversified. Major sources which contribute to the poor air quality in the region can be attributed to emission arising from seasonal burning of Parali and other continuous emission sources such as vehicular, Thermal Power Plants and other industrial emissions," Yadav said.

In a bid to address the constraints and limitations for coherent and participatory approach to deal with the issues and to have an air-shed based approach, the Centre formed the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and adjoining areas' through promulgation of an ordinance in 2020, which was subsequently passed as an Act by Parliament in August 2021. 

Tweeting about the meeting later, the minister said, "Chaired a meeting with Haryana CM Shri @mlkhattar ji and Environment Ministers and senior officials from neighbouring states on the preparedness and taking ahead the multi-pronged action plan on air quality. Addressed issues requiring inter-state & inter-ministerial coordination."

"It was heartening to note that the spirit with which the Commission for Air Quality Management was conceived is reflected in the action plan of states. The outcome of the action plan will significantly depend on the efficacy of the enforcement and implementation by states," he said. 

PTI