Environment Minister inaugurates workshop on “Prohibition on Open Burning of any Kind of Material – A Small Step Targeting Big Impact”.
Mr. Imran Hussain, Environment Minister, Govt. of NCT of Delhi on Wednesday inaugurated a half day workshop on “Prohibition on Open Burning of any Kind of Material – A Small Step Targeting Big Impact” at the Delhi Secretariat for the areas under jurisdiction of North MCD.
The workshop was attended by the SDMs and officials of Environment Department, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), Municipal Corporations, DDA, PWD, Delhi Parks & Garden Society, Govt./Private Schools and Colleges and Resident Welfare Associations.
Experts and senior officers of North MCD, Department of Environment, Govt. of Delhi, DPCC, Development Alternative (NGO) and TERI shared their experiences and suggested best practices to prevent burning in open and adopting alternate methods for disposing and managing wastes in environment friendly ways.
Speaking on the occasion, the Environment Minister appreciated the initiative of Environment Department for organising a series of workshops for creating mass awareness about control of air pollution caused by open burning. In a first of the series, participants from North DMC were invited. Similar exercise will be carried out by Environment Department with other two Municipal Corporations as well in near future.
Mr. Hussain noted with concern that air pollution levels are continuously rising in the city due to multiple sources like open burning, industrial activity, construction activity etc. High levels of air pollution have deleterious effects on human health and well being of the people. There is thus need for regulating and controlling air pollution from generating sources with the objective of maintaining the ambient air quality standards in respect of particulate matter.
Hon’ble National Green Tribunal (NGT) has also ordered complete ban on burning of any kind of garbage, leaves, waste plastic, rubber etc. in open places in Delhi. NGT has also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on each incident of open burning.
Delegates in workshop discussed various kinds of harmful effects of open burning on ambient air quality of the city. Alternative disposal methods waste in order to avoid open burning in the City were also discussed.
Participants were advised to have personal interaction with participating North MCD officials who maintain and manage areas under North MCD.
The Minister further observed that making rules alone cannot help in combating the menace of air pollution in the city. It was observed that there is an urgent and immediate need of large scale public participation. Mr. Hussain noted that School/College children are the best messengers for spreading the awareness about the protection of environment.
He also appreciated the efforts of RWAs who have been continuously contributing towards making colonies and their surroundings clean and green. Mr. Hussain asked the participants to inform about incidents of open burning on DPCC’s WhatsApp Helpline number 9717593574 and also at North DMC Helpline Nos. 1266 and 9643096430. Heexpressed the hope that workshop will help create effective awareness of the existing regulations and their strict compliance by the stakeholders, thereby improving the air pollution of the city to a great extent.
He also showed keen interest in the various ways and means for composting and vermiform composing displayed in the workshop.
Residents from Saraswati Vihar RWA, headed by Mrs. Vandana Sethi, also shared their experience on installation of composter provided by Development Alternative through a pilot project that had been funded by Department of Environment, GNCTD.
Mr. Hussain appreciated her initiative for growing more than 500 different kinds of plants including ornamental and medicinal plants at her terrace garden. This effort has also earned her recognition from All India Kitchen Garden Association. The Minister asked her to actively promote her initiative among the residents in her locality and elsewhere.
Following was the main outcome of the workshop:
- Need for large scale mass awareness and community participation for ensuring prohibition on open burning activities
- School/ Colleges and RWAs should be roped in for creating awareness
- Need for effective enforcement of Hon’ble NGT orders regarding open burning by designated authorities.
- School / college students and RWAs need to act as environment messengers and carry forward the message of curbing air pollution due to open burning activities.
- Efforts should be made for overall improvement of Ambient Air quality of the City.