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Delhi Air Quality: Pollution Watchdog Issues Notices to SDMC, EDMC for Inaction

The overall air quality index (AQI) of Delhi was 299, which falls in the poor category, according to CPCB data. Increased wind speed helped in dispersion of pollutant

PTI

Updated:December 1, 2018, 8:59 PM IST
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Delhi Air Quality: Pollution Watchdog Issues Notices to SDMC, EDMC for Inaction
New Delhi: People wearing masks display placards during a protest against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on the issue of air pollution, at Jantar-Mantar, in New Delhi, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (Image: PTI)
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New Delhi: While Delhi's air quality recorded slight improvement due to favourable meteorological conditions on Saturday, pollution watchdog CPCB has issued showcause notices to SDMC and EDMC for failing to control air polluting activities under their jurisdiction.

The overall air quality index (AQI) of Delhi was 299, which falls in the poor category, according to CPCB data. Increased wind speed helped in dispersion of pollutants, authorities said.

The Central Pollution Control Board said the air pollution level was "very poor" in 16 areas and it was "poor" in 15 areas.

In two separate notices issued on November 29, CPCB asked for explanation why action should not be initiated for prosecution of the commissioners of South Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation for failing to control air polluting activities under their jurisdiction.

CPCB chairman S P Singh Parihar sought a response to the same within 48 hours.

In its notice to SDMC, the CPCB said that out of 866 complaints received by citizens and teams deployed by the pollution watchdog, only 200 have been resolved, 334 complaints are being investigated and 332 were not yet attended.

To EDMC, the CPCB said that out of the 534 complaints, only 133 have been resolved, 272 are being investigated and 129 were not yet attended.

Parihar said the CPCB has repeatedly urged these bodies to open social media accounts to receive and address these complaints.

"CPCB's meetings with nodal agencies were also held on Nov 14, 19, 22 and 23, wherein agencies were directed to join the social media platform," Parihar said in the notices.

"It is the responsibility of the concerned nodal agencies to attend incidents of air pollution and take measures to mitigate problem in a time bound manner," he said.

The CPCB, in its meetings with public authorities including SDMC and EDMC, had termed their action on complaints "grossly inadequate".

Last week, the chairperson of the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority, Bhure Lal, lashed out at enforcement agencies, alleging that Delhi's civic and urban bodies are "not properly implementing" the directions issued to curb pollution.

An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.

The level of PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre) was recorded at 150 and the PM10 level was recorded at 299, it said.

In NCR, Ghaziabad and Noida recorded 'very poor' air quality while Gurgaon and Faridabad recorded poor air quality, CPCB data showed.
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