New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday (September 29) said pollution levels declined in the national capital due to government initiatives as he announced a 15-point winter action plan to curb pollution. The number of days witnessing severe pollution levels declined in the last eight years due to several initiatives of the city government, such as the introduction of electric buses and the EV Policy, closure of thermal power plants, 24X7 electricity and the tree transplantation programme, among others, he said at a press conference.
CM Kejriwal also thanked the people of Delhi for their support in helping the government reduce pollution levels.
Announcing the winter action plan, CM Kejriwal said the Pusa biodecomposer that prevents stubble burning will be sprayed on 5,000 hectares of farmland this year against 4,400 hectares last year.
The Pusa biodecomposer, developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), is a microbial solution that can turn paddy straw into manure in 15-20 days.
The government will deploy 530 water sprinklers to prevent dust pollution at 13 hotspots and 385 teams will check vehicles’ pollution certificates and prevent the plying of overage cars.
In 2018, the Supreme Court banned diesel and petrol vehicles older than 10 and 15 years, respectively, in Delhi. It had added that the vehicles plying in violation of the order would be impounded.
A 2014 order of the National Green Tribunal bars vehicles older than 15 years to be parked in public places.
CM Kejriwal said burning garbage in the open is banned in Delhi and 611 teams will monitor its implementation.
He also urged people to download the Green Delhi mobile application and report any pollution-causing activity to the government.
However, the BJP blasted the CM Kejriwal government over the action plan, calling it a “copy-paste” job.
Virendra Sachdeva, chief of the party’s Delhi unit, said,
Arvind Kejriwal’s winter action plan is just a show. CM Kejriwal did not do anything about pollution control. The winter action plan presented today is a copy-paste of the plan they presented last year.
Speaking at a press conference, he said before the AAP assumed power in Punjab, it held the northern state responsible for the pollution in Delhi. He added,
But now, CM Kejriwal is mum on Punjab.
However, when asked about the stubble burning situation in Punjab, CM Kejriwal said,
Last year, (after) our government was formed, we got six to seven months. But government data shows that last year there was 30 per cent less stubble burning as compared to the previous year.
This year, several steps are being taken, including the diversification of crops under which farmers have been asked to grow crops other than paddy, he said. The AAP chief added,
This will lead to saving of water as well as less stubble (generation).
CM Kejriwal said the farmers in Punjab are being encouraged to grow short-term varieties of rice, which will lead to less stubble generation and ensure more time to dispose those. He said,
We are getting good response. There are many companies that have come forward to adopt districts. They will take the stubble of the entire district and convert it into manure or electricity. Many other steps are being taken. It is difficult to cite the exact data on how much stubble burning will happen but I think it will be reduced.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.