New Delhi: The Confederation of Resident Welfare Association, a pan-India apex body of RWAs, on Friday shot a letter to Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar seeking concrete actions to curb the air pollution menace in the country, instead of hiding its failure under the garb of stubble burning.
The association put forth a nine-step solution model before the government. It urged the government to induct 200 CNG and electric city busses up to last mile connectivity in every big city on priority and restrict tempo and autos to arterial roads. This will lead to minimal use of personal vehicles by commuters automatically, it said.
This comes in the light of the spike in air pollution in Delhi and adjoining states like Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. The situation has become grave due to the wrath of the coronavirus pandemic, which reportedly gets aggravated by the pollution.
The confederation said, “The government could have taken the right steps from 2013 onwards instead of hiding its failure under the garb of stubble burning.”
“Every industry is supposed to install and run an effluent treatment plant (ETP) for its liquid and air discharge. In reality, most industries dump their effluent into the ground by reverse boring within their premises by stealth,” the confederation said.
It added, “Some of the industries have installed ETPs for show, they run them only during inspection. This happens with the tacit approval of the PCs. To break this nexus, let the civil society in each city be allowed to carry out surprise checks of ETPs.”
The RWA body, headed by Rao VBJ Chelikani, urged the Union ministry to ask the local administration to adopt green cremation system as it would save about six crore plants annually.
“Since the ‘kapal kriya’ and other rituals can be performed as in conventional cremation, no one can raise a voice in the name of ‘aastha’ as against the electric crematorium. Two such units have been installed at the Hindon cremation yard in Ghaziabad,” it said.
Giving another solution, the confederation said that if 2,000 CCTV cameras are installed on the main roads passing through a city, the traffic will become smooth, accidents will reduce, jams will decrease. Traffic congestion increases vehicle emissions and degrades ambient air quality.
Further, it asked the government to allow every district magistrate to decide one car free day per month. The idea of vertical gardening and e-waste collection centre was also put forth.
“A research from Mexico brings out that creepers covered on the facade of a four-story building can absorb 40 tonnes of toxic gas in a year. Can we not start raising creepers on the walls of fly overs and Metro lines followed by government buildings and private buildings? It neither requires space, nor budget nor amendment in the Constitution,” it said.
The confederation said that there should be sanitary land-fills instead of dumping grounds. “Mumbai and Delhi have already burnt their hands by developing dumping grounds. Let there be sanitary landfills. It requires filing of solid waste in trenches and its daily consolidation and covering,” it said.
The confederation further said that unauthorised vehicles in north India and tractor trolleys carrying uncovered building material, which do not pay any road tax, should be banned for at least three months with immediate effect.