Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is taking steps to control the air pollution levels in the state but is not keen on imposing any lockdown.
According to the government spokesman, the Chief Minister has asked senior officials to promote public transport over private transport, especially in the National Capital Region (NCR) districts.
“The CM has asked for a planned action at a local level to deal with pollution levels, especially in areas like Noida and Ghaziabad which are adjoining Delhi where pollution levels are in the severe category. In light of that, he said that people should be encouraged to use public transport,” said the government spokesperson.
He said that farmers are also being sensitised about crop burning and will be informed of the problem they will face due to increased air pollution.
Additional Chief Secretary (environment), Manoj Kumar, said that during the meeting with the Supreme Court appointed committee, the government laid out the various steps it is already taking to control pollution levels and said that it is not in favour of a lockdown.
“The SC had specifically mentioned two issues on which deliberations were needed. One was a lockdown and the other was stubble burning. UP is not in favour of a lockdown as it will impact our field officers who are tasked with enforcement work. Whatever work they are doing right now will also stop.
“Meanwhile, we are taking other steps like sprinkling of water on medians, roads and trees, planting grass where paving has not taken place, impounding vehicles which are older than 10-15 years and cracking down on illegal disposal of construction waste,” he said.
Meanwhile, a senior official said that UP had negligible stubble burning and chief secretary R.K. Tiwari had written to district magistrates to crack down entirely on stubble burning.
“The problem is that the wind velocity is negligible right now and will remain so till November 20. Because of this, there is no dispersal of particulate matter (PM), leading to high pollution levels. Despite that, UP is still only in the very poor category of air pollution,” the official said.