New Delhi: Delhi saw a significant dip in air pollution levels in the 2022-23 winter season owing to strict implementation of the 15-point action plan and a proactive Graded Response Action Plan, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Wednesday (February 8). Addressing a press conference, Mr Rai also said the AAP government in Punjab would scale up the use of bio-decomposer, a microbial solution which can turn paddy straw into manure in around three weeks, in the agrarian state.
He said the Delhi government has created an inventory of dispersed air pollution sources at Anand Vihar, one of the 13 pollution hotspots in Delhi.
The project will be scaled up to cover all the pollution hotspots this year.
The minister said,
I want to congratulate the people of Delhi. Their efforts have led to positive results this winter season.
Compared to 109 good, satisfactory and moderate air quality days in 2016, the capital logged 160 such days in 2022.
The number of poor and very poor air quality days have come down from 217 to 196 during this period. The number of severe air quality days has reduced from 26 in 2016 to six in 2022. The winter action plan announced in September last year focussed on areas such as stubble and garbage burning, vehicle and dust pollution, hotspots, industrial pollution, upgradation of Green War Room and Green App and dialogue with the central government & neighbouring states, among others.
The 15-point action plan has played an important role in Delhi’s pollution. Severe air quality days have reduced by 77 per cent. The government’s efforts, including the ban on petrol and diesel vehicles older than 15 years and 10 years, promotion of e-vehicles, suspension of construction work when air quality deteriorated, expansion of green area, ban on firecrackers and stubble burning, creation of a green war room, and the use of PNG (clean fuel) in industrial units, have improved the air quality.
He said a fine of Rs 4 crore has been imposed on project proponents for violation of dust control norms at their construction and demolition sites starting October last year.
Eighty mechanised road sweeping (MRS), 401 water sprinklers/tankers, 193 static anti-smog guns and 169 mobile anti-smog guns were deployed to mitigate road dust re-suspension, he said.
Mr Rai said 86,157 electric vehicles have been registered in the city since the launch of the EV policy in August 2020. EVs accounted for 10 percent of the total new vehicle registrations in 2022.
Authorities resolved 90 per cent of the over 60,000 complaints received on the Green Delhi App, conducted over 22,000 inspections to check open burning of garbage and imposed a fine of Rs 9.85 lakh on violators.
Mr Rai also said the Delhi government has exceeded the annual target of 43 lakh saplings and planted more than 46 lakh plants already.
(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 – the LGBTQ 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 current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) 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, fight malnutrition, 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 like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.