The Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan announced on February 8, 2018 that the Union Government and Delhi government have joined hands to combat air pollution in the National Capital Region.
The Minister stated that 70 teams have been constituted to create mass awareness and test all the mitigation steps taken in the NCR from February 10. The campaign outcome is expected to help the Ministry to form a larger policy framework to apply throughout the year as permanent solutions to air pollution.
• The 70 teams will comprise officials from the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee, civic bodies, Delhi Police and NGOs.
• The teams would be tasked with focussing on four constraints including dust mitigation, municipal solid waste, vehicular emission and industrial emissions.
• The main objective would be to use the tools with concentrated efforts to test all the steps taken by the government to curb the pollution.
Following the campaign, a meeting of state Environment Ministers will be held to recognise individual environment and pollution-related challenges in their respective states.
Besides this, the Environmental Ministry would be focussing on conducting workshops on air pollution and health including a special workshop on indoor air pollution measures.
Air pollution has emerged as a serious threat to the National Capital Region, especially with the back-to-back formation of blanket smog in the region during the winters of 2016 and 2017.
During November-December 2017, Delhi and its surrounding areas choked on the extremely severe level of air quality with environmental bodies imposing emergency-level restrictions on polluting activities such as construction, industry and truck movement.
In Delhi, on an average, about 131 tonnes of dust is generated every day, mostly due to construction activities.