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Like Delhi, Okhla shrouded under blanket of smog; residents, activists unconcerned

Okhla’s Jamia Nagar is a place where one can find headquarters of all Muslim organizations.

Moreover, it is a place where activists and religious organizations react over national and international happenings by holding peaceful protests.

As municipal elections are just a few months ago, there is no dearth of such protests organized by self-proclaimed activists and political aspirants who for sure after the elections are over evaporate in the thin air.

However, it is unfortunate that these same people who are found everywhere are least bothered to protest and raise their voices over real issues like increasing pollution in the locality, lack of basic amenities, garbage issue, and untrammeled construction leading to pollution, corruption, increase in crime and other real issues.

And as reports surface about Delhi, including Okhla being shrouded under blanket of smog the residents are unconcerned.

How serious the issue has become could be ascertained from the fact that Ministerial task force on air pollution is busy to reviews the air quality situation in Delhi

Chief Minister appointed ministerial task force to combat air pollution on Thursday reviewed the air quality of the national capital and appealed to the central government to take all possible steps to immediately stop crop residue burning in the neighbouring states.

Head of the task force Satyendar Jain and Environment Minister Imran Hussain discussed various options (including introduction of artificial measures, if required) with scientists of the Central Pollution Control Board and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to deal with the situation, which will be placed before the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister.

The scientists advised the Delhi government to stress upon a unified action plan for the entire NCR, for its anti-pollution efforts to succeed.

The scientists informed the Delhi government that the current trend shows air pollution peaks during night hours, and is showing a trend of easing during day time.

According to the scientists from both the agencies, current meteorological conditions pre and post Diwali so far have not been helpful and have therefore not contributed to improve the air quality, which however is expected to see a positive trend in the coming days

Jain asked all the stakeholders not to pay any heed to rumours like there is a likelihood of schools being closed temporarily since the scientific data shows peak of pollution during nights and NOT during schools hours.

It was decided to take up the following steps on priority:

1) Delhi government will on Friday request the Centre to enforce relevant laws to regulate largescale construction in NCR, the dust from where is polluting Delhi air.

2) CPCB has been requested to crack down on polluting industrial units in NCR.

3) Delhi Government will request the Centre to take effective steps to ensure an immediate end to crop residue burning in neighbouring states.

4) In Friday’s meeting, Delhi government will ask for restriction on plying of diesel taxis/autos in NCR, particularly on entry points of Delhi.

5) Strict enforcement of guidelines to prohibit entry of overloaded and polluting transit trucks into Delhi.

Apart from the above mentioned steps, the Delhi government asked all relevant departments to strictly enforce the directions given by the Deputy Chief Minister on Tuesday and begin implementation immediately to ensure that all deadlines are met.

Meanwhile, East Delhi MP Maheish Girri has appealed to EDMC, DDA, Traffic Police and other government agencies to help in making East Delhi Pollution Free. MP office had meetings with different departments in this regard. MP said that pollution reaches high levels during festival time. There is a need to make an effective plan the counter the same.

MP Girri highlighted that the officials of DDA and EDMC have been told to make plans for increasing the green cover in East Delhi in the last few months. Meetings have also been organised with Railways and PWD officials to discuss construction of new roads to reduce problems of traffic jams in East Delhi. Delhi Police and Traffic Police have been instructed to decongest all the busy points of East Delhi. Maheish Girri said that he will do his utmost for making East Delhi Pollution-free.

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