The newly-appointed Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in National Capital Region and adjoining areas has identified immediate steps to deal with the rapidly deteriorating air quality.
It stated that while future action may take consultation with various stakeholders, residents should restrict travel unless absolutely essential and employers need to encourage 'work from home'. It has also recommended minimising use of personal vehicles, but with the pandemic raging, this is difficult to implement.
The commission, which is headed by M.M. Kutty, said that authorities need to strictly enforce laws and rules regarding dust control measures including at construction sites and prevent burning of municipal solid waste and biomass. It has asked authorities to intensify water sprinkling, particularly in dust prone areas, and use anti-smog guns at pollution hotspots specially at construction sites.
The commission has also asked for strict implementation of extant rules, courts and tribunal orders regarding stubble burning and use of fire crackers.
The government has launched the Sameer app for the public to report air pollution incidents. The commission has appealed for active public participation and civil diversity cooperation in dealing with the crisis.