As Delhi is grappling with severe levels of pollution, Union Environment Secretary CK Mishra on Monday said this was a "temporary phase" due to unfavourable weather conditions. Mr Mishra said that measures were in "full swing" to tackle with Delhi pollution.
"This is a temporary phase, largely because of meteorological conditions over Delhi and the surrounding areas. It is not as if the level of emissions has suddenly gone up," Mr Mishra told reporters at a press conference.
"It is just that dispersal (of pollutants) is not happening because of the meteorological conditions. Humidity, dew, no wind and temperature are combining to create this situation. Fortunately, this is a temporary phase and hopefully from December 26 it (wind speed) should pick up," he added.
"I have had rounds of discussion with the chief secretary of Delhi and he has put in place a mechanism through local deputy commissioners to take action," Mr Mishra said.
Delhi's air quality remained in the severe category for the third consecutive day on Monday. Authorities imposed a three-day ban on industrial activities in pollution hotspots and construction work across Delhi-NCR.
Delhi is facing its highest pollution level since Diwali.
"We have had a better year compared to last year. And we want to continue this action and show that if we carry on with this action, you will have much better pollution levels in future," Mr Mishra said.
"Hopefully, if it goes on like this, then the air in Delhi should be much cleaner air in the next two to three years," he added.
Mr Mishra said there will be increased mechanised sweeping activities in the industrial hotspots in Delhi and the ministry has requested the government to start water sprinkling to control dust.
"One aspect which we are closely monitoring in the hotspots is burning (of biomass, waste, etc). In winters they (instances of burning) increase. There is factory waste burning, biomass burning and there is general burning. We are trying to see that those burnings are checked," he said.
Mr Mishra denied that the government had any plans to ban the use of non-CNG private as well as commercial vehicles.
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