DELHI: The Delhi government has raised several environmental concerns about the draft regional plan 2021 and sub-regional plan for Haryana 2021. One of the issues is high emission of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NO2) in parts of Haryana in NCR with not enough air quality monitoring stations in the region. Water sharing through Munak Canal and land use change in Aravalis are other contentious areas.
One of the key concerns for Delhi is Chapter 17 of the draft regional plan which deals with land use in Aravalis. In Haryana’s draft sub-regional plan, almost the entire Delhi-Gurgaon border has been classified as “urbanizable”. This would mean the green buffer may be wiped out by large-scale real estate construction.
“Environment cannot be separated by administrative boundaries. Their ecological issues will affect us equally. So when the National Capital Region Planning Board asked for our opinion on the plan we communicated our concerns. We need more discussion on these concerns. We cannot go ahead until we have clarity on key environmental issues,” said a Delhi government official who is attending NCRPB meetings on the regional plans.
A letter accessed by TOI says Delhi government asked NCRPB to reschedule the previous meeting of the board because of its reservation about many clauses in the regional plan. “There are several serious issues which need to be resolved between the ministry of urban development (MoUD) and ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) before finalization of the draft regional plan 2021. These should be first thrashed out in detail at the working group level with all stakeholders,” the letter from Delhi government said.
Delhi government also suggested the working group meeting be held in presence of MoEF officials and all others states. “We saw their SO2 and NO2 levels are very high in certain areas which can impact the health of our people. There are not enough air quality monitoring stations. Haryana government is not allowing us to use its hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility in Pali,” said the official.
Officials from Delhi government said as the Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan plans were passed earlier interventions couldn’t be made on time but the Haryana sub-regional plan is likely to
impact the capital’s environment and hence changes must be made to the draft.