Environment ministry asks pollution boards to step up action against violators

The environment ministry has asked all state pollution control boards to intensify action against violators, especially in the industrial and construction sectors, to curb air pollution in the Delhi-NCR.

Environment minister Harsh Vardhan said all government agencies had to maintain the highest level of alertness and continue their efforts to check pollution, and also appealed to the citizens to help achieve better levels of air quality.

“During the task force meeting held at the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on November 13, measures taken by the SPCBs were reviewed and they were requested to intensify the actions against violators, especially in industrial and the construction sectors,” he said.

He said due to the pollution control measures and a slight improvement in weather conditions, the declining trend in particulate matter (PM) levels which started on Sunday afternoon continued today.

He said the Delhi-NCR had moved from ‘emergency’ level to the severe category of PM levels with PM10 being 392 micrograms per cubic metre and PM2.5 being 262 micrograms per cubic metre.

The Delhi-NCR region was under a thick blanket of smog aggravating health concerns and doctors called it an emergency.

The minister also appreciated the discipline shown by the general public and said the improvement was achieved largely due to efforts of various government agencies and public participation based on voluntary actions.

He said the IMD had forecast that weather conditions were likely to become more favourable for dispersal of pollutants over the next 2-3 days.

“Hence, air quality is expected to improve further,” he added.

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