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Enforcement Task Force, Flying Squads to tackle Delhi-NCR air pollution: Centre to SC

Flying Squads have already started functioning from Thursday itself and have conducted surprise checks at 25 sites, said the affidavit.

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New Delhi: The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in the Delhi-NCR pollution case on Friday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, saying it has constituted an Enforcement Task Force to monitor compliance with its directions to control air pollution.

The central government will form 40 flying squads out of which 17 will be in the next 24 hours, the affidavit said, adding that a five-member Enforcement Task Force will tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

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The CAQM affidavit followed the apex court’s disappointment on Thursday, over the way the Centre, Delhi and other state governments and authorities concerned had failed to control pollution in the Delhi-National Capital Region.

“For Air Quality Management in Delhi-NCR, we have constituted an enforcement task force of five members to monitor compliance with its directions to control air pollution. Seventeen flying squads have also been constituted to act against violators,” said the CAQM affidavit.

“All schools and colleges in NCR shall remain closed till further orders, allowing only online mode of application except for the purpose of conducting examinations and laboratory practicals etc,” added the affidavit.

“The entry of trucks in Delhi shall not be permitted, except for CNG and electric trucks and trucks carrying essential commodities,” it said.

The Commission and the central government has taken immediate steps to further augment implementation of directions by the commission with a view to achieving the desired results for improving the air quality, added the affidavit.

The inspections were to be carried out by the Central Pollution Control Board, the respective, state governments and their State Pollution Control Board/committee. It is submitted by the CAQM, in its affidavit, that Thursday’s order of 17 flying squads is constituted, which will directly report to the ‘Enforcement Task Force’ of the Commission.

The Enforcement Task Force itself will exercise powers of taking punitive and preventive measures against the non-compliant/ defaulting persons/entities. The number of Flying Squads would be increased to 40 in the next 24 hours. The said Flying Squads have already started functioning from Thursday itself and have conducted surprise checks at 25 sites, said the affidavit.

As far as industrial pollution is concerned, the commission has further directed that industrial operations and processes in NCR, where gas is not available and the said industrial unit is not running on PNG or cleaner fuels, shall be allowed to operate only up to 8 hours a day during weekdays and shall remain closed during Saturday and Sunday, it added.

The operation of thermal power plants within a 300 km radius of Delhi will continue to be regulated, whereby, only five out of 11 thermal power plants have been permitted to schedule their operations and the rest have been directed to remain inoperative till at least December 15, 2021, the CAQM affidavit said.

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