New Delhi: Aiming to curb air pollution in the National Capital Region, a high-level task force led by P K Mishra, the principal secretary to the prime minister, has asked Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to put extra efforts and give incentives to control stubble burning, the Prime Minister’s Office said on Saturday.

The task force met on Friday to review action taken by various agencies and to firm up plans for the season ahead, the PMO said.

In the meeting, Mishra told all members that the objective of holding the meeting early is to ensure timely action on stubble burning and other interventions to reduce pollution.

“A review of the main sources of air pollution, measures taken and the progress made by state governments and various ministries was carried out. It was noted that the incidence of stubble burning has reduced by more than 50% in last two years and the number of good AQI days has gone up,” it said.

While assessing the overall situation, it was noted that crop burning incidents in neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were still high last year, the statement said, adding Mishra issued a number of directions to intensify the planned actions to ensure that stubble burning is discontinued.

Chief secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and secretaries of different department and ministries were among those present in the meeting.

To control stubble burning, it was stressed that adequate number of teams should be deployed and they should ensure that no stubble burning takes place, especially in Punjab, Haryana and UP, the statement said.

These states need to put extra efforts and give appropriate incentives especially in the relevant districts, it added.

The Delhi government was asked to ensure measures to control local sources of pollution.

Mishra emphasized that these measures should be implemented well before the onset of severe conditions, and focus should also be laid on compliance of emission norms by industries in satellite industrial areas.

He said special emphasis should be laid on deployment of teams for control of open burning of waste, IT-enabled monitoring of mechanical road sweepers, improvement in utilisation of construction and demolition waste and site specific implementation of action plan for identified hot spots.

“It was observed that after recent inclusion of residue based power/fuel plants under priority sector lending by Reserve Bank of India, both state and central governments should jointly work out action plans for rapid deployment of such units. Measures related to diversification of crop and strengthening of supply chains were also discussed,” the PMO said.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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