- The final Comprehensive Action Plan (CAP) to combat air pollution in Delhi-NCR in the long run was released by the Ministry of Environment and Forest in line with the recommendations of the SC-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority.
- In accordance with the Supreme Court’s order in November 2016, the CPCB and Supreme Court appointed EPCA framed a graded response action plan to measure and suggest measures to tackle air pollution.
- Further in the aftermath of the landmark Vardhaman Kaushik v/s Union of India, GRAP was framed by CPCB.
- However GRAP was more curative and post-mortem in approach.
- Thus a need for a “preventive plan” was felt to tackle the problem of air pollution in Delhi-NCR in the long run.
- Thus the apex court had directed the appointment Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority to make recommendations to tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR in the long run.
About Comprehensive Action Plan
- According to EPCA report 5 key sources of air pollution in Delhi are:
- Combustion in power plants and industries using dirty fuels, like pet coke,coal and biomass
- Garbage burning, both in landfills and other places
- Dust management on roads, construction sites etc
- Crop residue burning because farmers do not have alternatives for use of straw
- The Comprehensive Action Plan provides for source-wise clean air action plan and compliance strategy for Delhi and NCR to meet clean air standards.
1. Air quality monitoring
- Setting up of more real time monitoring stations.
- Enforce Graded Response Action Plan for uniform measurement of air quality levels.
2. Vehicular Emissions: Action to reduce vehicular emissions:
For New Vehicles
- Implementation of BS VI fuel and emission standards.
- Expand CNG programme across NCR including introduction of H-CNG.
- Introduce battery operated vehicles in targeted segments of two-wheelers, three-wheelers and buses.
- Install vapour recovery systems to reduce benzene emissions in NCR.
For Vehicles on-road
- Tighten PUC norms for post-2000 vehicles.
- Link PUC certificates with annual vehicle insurance to ensure 100 per cent compliance.
- Divert truck traffic.
- Strategies to reduce vehicle numbers on roads
- Improve Public transport.
- Augment the service of Metro for carrying more passengers
- BRTS to be implemented in targeted high frequency routes.
- Fare integration and common ticketing by introducing common mobility cards.
- Prepare and implement zonal plans for developing a Non-motorized transport network.
- Parking policy to reduce congestion and pollution.
- Traffic management: Introduce early alarm system during traffic congestion.
3. Power plants and industries
- Progressively close the older and more polluting thermal power plants in NCR and to move to cleaner natural gas.
- Permanent closure of Badarpur Power Plant
- Ban on furnace oil, pet coke, which are dirty industrial fuels with high Sulphur and heavy metals.
4. Open burning (including solid waste and agricultural residues)
- Take stringent action against open burning of biomass / leaves / tyres etc. to control such activities.
- Ensure proper collection of horticulture waste (biomass) and composting cum gardening approach
5. Domestic chulha burning and open eateries
- Prohibit use of coal in hotels and restaurants.
- Eliminate use of kerosene for cooking in NCR and incentivize move to LPG.
6. Control measures for road and construction dust