“The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is concerned to note the grey haze engulfing the National Capital Region, the worst ever air pollution in the recent past, and industry has pledged to partner with the Government in tackling the issue. CII is launching a Clean Air Initiative called Clean Air - Better Life | ?????? ???? – ???????? .The CII initiative will engage business, civil society and government to learn from peers and take actionable steps to improve the air pollution in Delhi NCR,” said Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.
The specific objectives of Swachh Vayu-Dirghayu are to:
- develop an integrated approach that brings together policy makers, industry, academia, community and civil society;
- build consensus and get buy-in from stakeholders on actions for improving air quality in NCR;
- deliver voluntary commitments from stakeholders towards reducing air pollution; and
- influence adherence to existing policies and advocacy towards newer policies.
Concerned about the severe air pollution in recent days which affected normal activity such as schools, construction activities, and ban on diesel generator sets, among others, CII has presented several recommendations on working towards cleaner air.
- Soil and road dust contributes 26% of PM 2.5 in summer in Delhi, according to a report by IIT Kanpur. CII recommends collecting soil and road dust by vacuum cleaning and use for filling low-lying areas.
- Burning of straw leads to 26% of PM 2.5 in winter and 12% in summer in Delhi. The Government should incentivize use of Happy Seeder to convert rice straw into mulch as fertilizer. Biomass and agri-waste may be used in biomass plants or raw material for pulp and paper industry which will incentivize farmers to reduce burning.
- Vehicles which contribute 25% to ambient PM 2.5 levels require various actions such as retrofitting of diesel vehicles, zero-idling by public, school and defence vehicles, and promoting non-motorized transport. High excise duty on ethanol may also be reduced and more tenders floated by oil marketing companies to encourage ethanol blended clean fuel.
- Industrial sources of pollution include thermal power plants, foundries, ready-mix concrete plants, and flyash, among others. Commercial establishments and hotels using coal also contribute to air pollution. These should be encouraged to switch to cleaner fuels. The construction industry should use water sprinkling, curtains and dust suppression units. Diesel generator set emission norms need to be enforced.
8 November 2016