In order to step up efforts for ensuring better air quality in the upcoming winter season, strict vigil will be maintained against polluting activities in Delhi and neighbouring towns, the Ministry of Environment said on Wednesday.
Fifty teams of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) will be deployed to make extensive field visits from October 15 this year till February 28 next year, it said.
In a statement, the Ministry of Environment said the teams will visit Delhi and NCR towns — Noida, Ghaziabad, Meerut in Uttar Pradesh; Gurugram, Faridabad, Ballabgarh, Jhajjar, Panipat, Sonepat in Haryana; and Bhiwadi, Alwar, Bharatpur in Rajasthan.
These teams will specifically focus on hotspot areas where the problem is aggravated, it said.
“Strict vigil will be maintained against polluting activities in the upcoming winter season. On-spot reporting of major air polluting sources such as major construction activities without proper control measures, dumping of garbage and construction waste alongside the roads and on open plots, unpaved roads, open burning of garbage/industrial waste, etc. will be done using SAMEER App.
“Feedback on polluting activities will be shared with concerned agencies through an automated system, for quick action. Details will also be shared with State Governments. This will help in taking timely actions and monitoring at appropriate levels by the concerned agencies,” it said.
The ministry said that a central control room at the borad’s headquarters has been made functional for keeping track of pollution levels on hour-to-hour basis and overall coordination with state agencies.
In addition, district-wise nodal officers have been appointed for better management and coordination with teams, the ministry said.
“Air quality in winter season is a major environmental concern in Delhi and NCR region. Various efforts are being taken since past five years for air quality management in the region. Although gradual year-on-year improvement in air quality has been observed, a lot needs to be done,” it said.
The national capital’s air quality hit an eight-month low and was recorded just a notch above the “very poor” category on Tuesday.
The city’s air quality index (AQI) stood at 306 on Tuesday morning. The pollution levels dipped slightly due to an improvement in the ventilation index.
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 System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research, SAFAR, said, “The development of strong surface-level inversion and sudden local, calm surface wind conditions led to a low ventilation coefficient and accumulation of pollutants near the surface.”