With the national capital and surrounding areas reeling under severe air pollution, the principal secretary to the prime minister chaired a high-level meeting on Sunday and it was decided that Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba would monitor the situation with the governments of Delhi, Haryana and Punjab on a daily basis.
PK Mishra, the principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reviewed the situation arising out of burning of stubble and wastes, construction activities, and industrial and vehicular pollution in the National Capital Region and other parts of north India.
Senior officials from Punjab, Haryana and Delhi joined the meeting through video-conferencing, according to a statement.
“The Cabinet Secretary will monitor the situation with these states on a daily basis,” it said.
The chief secretaries of these states have been asked to monitor the situation in various districts of their respective state round the clock.
Official sources later said about 300 teams are in the field in Delhi to reduce air pollution and necessary machinery for this work has been distributed in the states.
Main focus is on seven industrial clusters and major traffic corridors in NCR, they said.
The Centre is keeping a close watch on polluting units and burning of wastes besides construction activities, the sources said.
The meeting was attended by the Principal Adviser to the prime minister, Cabinet Secretary and Secretaries from the Ministries of Agriculture; Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Cabinet Secretariat; Chairman of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB); DG of India Meteorological Department (IMD); chief secretaries of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana and other senior officers.
Pollution levels in Delhi and satellite towns shot up again on Sunday morning, with the air quality bordering the ‘severe plus’ category at several places.
Authorities have announced a public health emergency in the national capital. Schools have been shut in Delhi and Noida till Tuesday.
Pollution caused a major disruption at Delhi airport on Sunday as 37 flights were diverted to other airports due to heavy smog.