New Delhi [India], December 8 (ANI): In view of the deteriorating air quality of Delhi-NCR, the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) on Tuesday ordered the immediate closure of industries not running on PNG or cleaner fuels in industrial areas despite the availability of gas infrastructure and supply.
As per the directions of the Commission, these violating industries or industrial units will not be permitted to schedule their operations till December 12, 2021, and the position will be reviewed for further decisions.
In the Commission's comprehensive policy directions issued in August this year 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 and others.
The States are directed to 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.
The Commission had directed States to prepare an implementable Action plan by clearly specifying definite timelines for switching over of all identified industries units to PNG, where infrastructure and supply of gas are already available.
States were also asked to 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 November 16, 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. Additionally, NCR State Governments and GNCTD were required to further set up effective enforcement mechanisms including intensive and continuous drives by deputing adequate number of teams consisting of senior officers.
CAQM has also deputed Flying Squads for field visits and rigorous inspections of different sites contributing to the 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 review meetings with the Flying Squads to take stock of the situation and take necessary punitive actions against the violators.
The air quality in the national capital continued to remain in the 'very poor' category on Tuesday morning with an overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 314, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
Meanwhile, the air quality in the NCR region - Noida and Gurugram also remain in the 'very poor' category. AQI of 317 and 325 was recorded at 7.30 am in Gurugram and Noida, respectively.
An AQI between zero 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'. (ANI)