Harsh Vardhan warns strict action against people violating air quality norms
Union minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday that the Centre was making all possible efforts to maintain air quality and no leniency would be shown towards those who violated the norms.
Delhi's pollution level sharply spiked Monday as a thick haze engulfed the national capital due to the high impact of stubble burning and pushed the air quality in the 'very poor' category, authorities said.
The Union Environment minister said legal actions were being initiated against those who violated the pollution regulations.
"The Centre is making all possible efforts to maintain the air quality and to protect the environment. No leniency will be shown towards those who violate the pollution norms," Vardhan said on the sidelines of an event organised by the AYUSH Ministry to celebrate the third 'Ayurveda Day'.
He said that the Centre has given a financial aid of over Rs 550 crore for farmers who are indulging in stubble burning.
Vardhan also appealed to the people to indulge in green good deeds and also ensure environment-friendly behaviour to maintain the air quality which has deteriorated to alarming levels.
The minister recently called a meeting of environment ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi to discuss the deteriorating air quality.
Except for Delhi Environment minister Imran Hussain, all other ministers skipped the meeting, and instead sent their senior officials to participate in it.
On Sunday, a total fine of Rs 83,55,000 was imposed on violators by the teams deployed to monitor implementation of measures to combat pollution in Delhi NCR under the campaign.
An aggressive 10-day-long 'Clean Air Campaign' from November 1-10 has also been launched to monitor and report polluting activities as well as to ensure quick action.
Based on 368 complaints, a total fine of Rs 83,55,000 was imposed on Sunday itself by 52 teams in the national capital, said the CPCB.
It said a total of 119 complaints of construction and demolition activities were received.
Other complaints included that of vehicular emission, traffic congestion, industrial emission, open or garbage burning, leaf burning, road dust, unpaved road, fire in landfill sites, air pollution from generators among others, the CPCB said.
It said a total of 52 complaints were received through social media and e-mails while 316 complaints through the 'Sameer app' that has been developed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Officials said about 43 teams attended to 248 complaints in Delhi. Two teams attended to 11 complaints in Gurgaon, two teams to 31 complaints in Faridabad and two teams to five complaints in Noida and Greater Noida. Three teams attended 21 complaints in Ghaziabad.
On Friday and Saturday, a total penalty of Rs 80 lakh was imposed on violators.
The teams are visiting different parts of Delhi and adjacent towns of Faridabad, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Noida.
(With inputs from agencies.)