Amid growing concerns over the deteriorating air quality in Delhi, a 'Clean Air Week' would be organised from November 1-5 by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in collaboration with the Delhi government and the four major National Capital Region cities to control the air pollution.
For the same, 52 teams have been formed to ensure compliance and safety and take quick action. The teams will be jointly flagged off by Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Harsh Vardhan and the Minister from Government of Delhi.
This decision was taken in a meeting held in Delhi on Tuesday under the Chairmanship of Union Environment Secretary CK Mishra to discuss the urgent steps for air pollution reduction and regulating fire crackers in the light of the Supreme Court's Order. In the meeting, it was emphasised that all necessary steps should be taken to ensure that air quality levels are not allowed to go into the severe category in the next one week, read a statement.
The teams comprise of the local Sub-Divisional Magistrate as the team leader, senior official from Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and representatives from Central Pollution Control Board, Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Delhi Pollution Control Committee. Delhi will have 44 teams and the cities in NCR region (Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad) shall have two teams each.
Field teams will be supported by the local police to ensure compliance and safety. All the district magistrates and Municipal Corporation of Delhi commissioners shall be involved in the campaign and ensure that quick action is taken on the cases of violations reported by the field teams. In case of repeat violations, criminal proceedings against defaulters will be initiated.
The Supreme Court had on October 23 allowed the sale of "green firecrackers." The court observed that the citizens would be allowed to burst crackers only between 8 pm to 10 pm.
Timings and locations as envisaged in the top court's order for the bursting of firecrackers would be strictly adhered to, the officials decided in the meeting.
Delhi Police and the District Magistrates of Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad have been requested to ensure that these measures were strictly implemented by them in their respective areas.
In addition, the Delhi government was also ordered to immediately deploy 400 water sprinklers/ tankers as already committed. Construction sites will be closed temporarily for a few days to improve air quality.