A view of India Gate hiding in smog as the air quality deteriorates in the national capital.
A view of India Gate hiding in smog as the air quality deteriorates in the national capital.
(ANI PHOTO/Prabhat Mehrotra)

New Delhi: The newly-constituted Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas on Monday stressed on the need for enforcing existing laws, directions and standard operating procedures to minimize air pollution on an emergency basis.

The major immediate measures suggested by the commission include minimising the use of personal transport to the extent possible, restricting travel unless absolutely essential and working from home.

"Future action will necessitate consultation with various stakeholders. However, at this stage, the Commission stresses on the need to strictly enforce existing laws, rules, guidelines, directions and standard operating procedures to minimise air pollution on an emergency basis," it said in a statement.

The panel also called for encouraging "coal-using industries in NCR to minimize the use of coal in the coming months"

It asked the implementing agencies to strictly enforce laws and rules regarding dust control measures, including at construction sites and burning of municipal solid waste and biomass.

Intensifying water sprinkling, particularly in dust prone areas and use of anti-smog guns at pollution hotspots, especially at construction sites, were among the immediate measures suggested by the commission.

Ten immediate measures have been identified by the Commission:

1. Minimize use of personalized transport to the extent possible

2. Restrict travel unless absolutely essential

3. Encourage work from home

4. Strict enforcement of laws and rules regarding dust control measures including at construction sites

5. Strict enforcement to prevent burning of municipal solid waste and biomass

6. Intensify water sprinkling particularly in dust prone areas

7. Use of anti-smog guns at pollution hotspots specially at construction sites

8. Strict implementation of extant rules, Courts and Tribunal orders regarding stubble burning and use of fire crackers

9. Seek co-operation from civil society and public spirited citizens to report air pollution incidents on the Sameer App

10. Encourage coal using industries in NCR to minimize the use of coal in the coming months.

The blanket of smog over Delhi thickened on Monday, reducing visibility in parts of the city to just 400 metres as the air quality remained "severe" for the fifth consecutive day.

Government agencies and experts said calm wind was exacerbating the effect of stubble burning and a "quick recovery" is not possible unless the number of farm fires reduces drastically.

(With inputs from PTI)

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