Air quality in National Capital Region continues to deteriorate and can be expected to get worse on Diwali which has forced Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to direct all the agencies and state pollution control boards to take effective ground level action against sources that cause air pollution, especially road dust, open dumping, burning of waste, construction among others.

CPCB has asked the agencies to enhance their vigilance before Diwali to avoid emergency situations during the critical period.

According to the Air Quality Index (AQI) data, Major pollutants PM 2.5 at 212 in ‘Moderate’ category and PM 10 at 222 in ‘Poor’ category was noted at Lodhi Road area in Delhi on Thursday morning.

The agencies told the traffic police that there was a need to depute more manpower to resolve congestion and improve regulation during festivities. They also informed the CPCB about the complaint redressal status of various regions and major polluting causes.

They said waste burning has been reported from Noida and most agencies need to take prompt action for resolution of complaints.  The CPCB said agencies should ensure effective corrective action in all cases of polluting activities being reported by teams of CPCB and ensure complaint resolution within 24 hours.

“Ensure that effective ground level actions to control air polluting sources especially road dust, open dumping, burning of waste, construction, industrial and vehicular emissions are taken,” the CPCB said.

It further said that strict monitoring must be carried out at identified hotspots and proactive measures taken.

“Agencies (are) to submit weekly action taken reports to concerned SPCBs /DPCC which will submit compiled weekly report to CPCB,” it said.

The review meeting was held on October 18 at the Central Pollution Control Board office. It was chaired by Prashant Gargava, Member Secretary, CPCB.

The representatives from municipal bodies of Delhi-NCR and NHAI, transport authorities also informed about the measures being taken, which included water sprinkling on a daily basis, mechanical sweeping, issuing of challans, night patrolling, and regular monitoring of C&D activities. Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) on Wednesday was recorded in poor category at 244 against Tuesday’s 206, according to the data available with the CPCB