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The Delhi government has urged its neighbouring states, including Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, to ban firecrackers for tackling the issue of pollution that the national capital and surrounding areas face in the winter season. 

In addition to this, the states were also given the suggestion to shift their public transport vehicles to CNG and adopt a policy to promote electric vehicles.

In an online meeting of NCR states, Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai also said that extension should not be given to thermal power plants in NCR that are operating without emission control devices.

The minister said he urged the neighbouring states to spray bio-decomposer on paddy straw as an "emergency measure" to prevent stubble burning.

If they don't do it, Delhi and entire north India will have to bear the brunt of stubble burning this year too, he said.

"We have also suggested that Haryana and Uttar Pradesh constitute a task force for pollution hotspots in their areas surrounding Delhi for ground visits and focused work," he said.

Efforts to control pollution in Delhi 

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has directed all users of diesel generators of 125 KVA and above capacity in the capital to install emission control devices on their DG sets by October end.

In a reminder to an order issued on 2 July, the pollution control authority said owners of such DG sets will attract penal action if they don't comply with its directions within 120 days from the date of the first notice.

It said the devices to be installed on DG sets must be approved by one of the five Central Pollution Control Board-recognised laboratories and should capture at least 70 percent of the emissions.

The users of such DG sets also have the option to shift to gas-based generators.

Delhi firecracker ban 

The Delhi government last week banned the storage, sale and use of firecrackers during Diwali owing to the "dangerous pollution levels" in the national capital around the time of the festival.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that like last year, it was essential to implement the ban in order to save lives.

"In view of the dangerous condition of pollution in Delhi during the Diwali period for the last three years, and like last year, a complete ban is being imposed on the storage, sale and use of all types of firecrackers. So that people's lives can be saved," he said in a tweet in Hindi. 

"Last year, a complete ban on firecrackers was imposed late after assessing the seriousness of the situation. This caused losses to the traders. It is an appeal to all the traders that this time in view of the complete ban, please do not stock," added Kejriwal. 

Rai said that the National Green Tribunal had called for a complete ban on firecrackers in poor air quality regions throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The data of CPCB for the last three years shows Delhi is almost in the poor pollution index. Last year, besides Delhi - Rajasthan, Orissa, Sikkim, West Bengal, Chandigarh, 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh had imposed a complete ban on firecrackers," he said.




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