New Delhi: Despite the measures taken in different sectors towards the improvement of air quality of Delhi-NCR, the air quality still remains in ‘Very Poor’ to ‘Severe’ category. Keeping in view the need to enforce strict actions against the deteriorating air quality of the region, the Air Quality Commission has taken a tough stand against the industries for flouting norms and ordered the immediate closure of NCR industries not running on clean fuels.

After failing to control air quality in NCR, Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) now heeding for taking further preventive measures and now ordered to be tough on industries flouting the comprehensive policy directions for shifting of industries operating in NCR districts to PNG/ cleaner fuels the commission has issued directions for immediate closure of all such industries located in industrial areas where PNG infrastructure and supply are available but have still not switched over to PNG.

As per the directions of the Commission, these violating industries/ industrial units will not be permitted to schedule their operations till 12.12.2021, and the position will be reviewed for further decisions.

In the Commission’s comprehensive policy Directions dated 12.08.2021 for shifting of industries operating in NCR Districts to PNG/ cleaner fuels, the State Governments of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) were directed to:

  • audit and inspect the industries which are already connected to PNG supply and ensure that those industries are not using any other polluting fuels like coal etc.
  • maintain strict vigil to prevent the use of unapproved fuels in the NCR, through the enforcement agencies concerned and take stringent action, in case of the defaulting units.
  • prepare an implementable Action plan by clearly specifying definite time lines for switching over of all identified industries units to PNG, where infrastructure and supply of gas are already available.
  • develop a time bound comprehensive action plan, in consultation with the authorized entities to supply gas in the industrial areas falling within the specified Geographical areas of NCR districts, for ensuring PNG and infrastructure supply in the remaining industrial areas.

As per the Commission’s Directions dated 16.11.2021 on steps for effective control of air pollution in the wake of prevailing air quality scenario in Delhi-NCR, all industries in the National Capital Region having gas connectivity shall be run only on gas, failing which industries concerned shall be closed.

It was also directed that all industries in NCR where gas connectivity is available shall immediately be shifted to gas and State Governments to furnish the industry-wise date of shifting.

To comply with the order, CAQM has deputed Flying Squads for field visits and rigorous inspections of different sites contributing to deteriorating air quality of Delhi-NCR and reporting their compliance with the directions to the CAQM.

The Commission is reviewing the progress on daily basis by holding the review meetings with the Flying Squads to take stock of the situation and take necessary punitive actions against the violators

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.