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HomedelhiDPCC chairman stopped study to ascertain pollution sources in Delhi sans govt...

DPCC chairman stopped study to ascertain pollution sources in Delhi sans govt nod: Gopal Rai

New Delhi: The Delhi government’s first-of-its-kind study to determine pollution sources in the national capital has been halted unilaterally on the orders of Delhi Pollution Control Committee Chairman (DPCC) Ashwani Kumar, alleged city Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday.

In a press conference, Rai said the Delhi Cabinet had approved the study proposal in July 2021 and signed an MoU with IIT Kanpur in October 2022.

“The estimated cost was over Rs 12 crore. The Delhi government had released Rs 10 lakh to IIT Kanpur for the procurement of necessary equipment,” he said.

The minister claimed that Ashwani Kumar, who took up the role of DPCC chairman in December, made a file note earlier this year, expressing concerns about the ‘substantial expenses associated with the study’.

Following several meetings with IIT Kanpur scientists, Kumar issued orders on October 18 to stop the release of the remaining funds to IIT Kanpur, effectively cancelling the study, Rai said.

“It’s very unfortunate that such a decision has been made at a time when Delhi urgently needs scientific data to address its pollution problem,” he lamented.

The minister said Kumar also did not inform him or the Cabinet about his decision.

Rai added that he has requested Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to suspend DPCC chairman Kumar for his ‘insensitive and irresponsible behaviour’.

Real-time source apportionment studies help identify factors responsible for an increase in air pollution at any spot, such as vehicles, dust, biomass burning, and emissions from industries so that preventive measures can be taken accordingly.

The Delhi government will ask prominent scientists to review the pollution source apportionment study after winter, the Delhi environment minister added.

(Published 25 October 2023, 11:05 IST)

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