‘Strict action will be taken against EDMC over fire at landfill’

New Delhi, Mar 30 (PTI):
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday said strict action will be taken against the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) for not taking steps to prevent fire at the Ghazipur landfill site.
A section of the landfill site had caught fire on Sunday, worsening pollution levels in the area, he said.
A team of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) inspected the landfill site managed by the EDMC and submitted a report. It states that the civic body has not made any arrangement to prevent such incidents at the site, Rai said.
“Strict action will be taken against the EDMC,” he said.
The minister said the DPCC has also written to various agencies, asking them to monitor all such sites where fire may break out due to rising temperature.
Rai also urged the Centre to develop action plans to reduce pollution levels in the northern states.
“Delhi has been making efforts… Two organisations — IQAir and the Centre for Science and Environment — have acknowledged in their reports that air pollution levels in the city have reduced,” he said.
According to IQAir’s report, Delhi has succeeded in reducing pollution levels, especially PM2.5 levels, by 15 per cent. A CSE report says PM2.5 levels in Delhi have reduced by 25 per cent since 2014-15, the minister said.
IQAir is a Swiss group that measures air quality levels based on the concentration of lung-damaging fine particles known as PM2.5.
“Delhi is the first state to shut down thermal power plants. We have identified pollution hotspots and taken specific actions. All industrial units are now operating on piped natural gas. We are the first state to launch an electric vehicle policy,” Rai said, listing steps taken to curb pollution levels in Delhi. “But, pollution in neighbouring cities of Gurgaon, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Bhiwadi… also affects Delhi. I urge the Centre to make action plans to reduce pollution levels in northern states while it has time,” he said.
Rai also demanded that the Centre analyse the reports by IQAir and CSE and take required action.

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